Aric Almirola wins rain shortened Daytona race

Speedcafe.com

Monday 7th July, 2014 - 7:48am

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Almirola celebrates at Daytona

Almirola celebrates at Daytona

Aric Almirola was out front when it mattered as he won the rain-shortened Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway.

The team-mate of Australian Marcos Ambrose, the result was the first career Sprint Cup win for Almirola who led the field to what would be the final caution of the race at lap #112 of the scheduled 160.

Carrying the famous no. 43 which team owner Richard Petty made his own, the result came on the 30th anniversary of the last and 200 career win for ‘The King’. It was also the first time that the no. 43 had been to victory lane since 1999.

In a race that was re-scheduled from Saturday night because of rain, showers once again affected the running of the race. It brought a delay just 12 laps into the event, before the first of two massive wrecks ended the hopes of many of the sport’s biggest stars.

The first wreck on just the 20th lap involved 16 cars and took out the likes of Jimmy Johnson and Tony Stewart. Then as drivers appeared to get desperate for track position as the rain clouds rolled-in, another pile-up involved no less than 26 cars on lap #97. That crash saw Kyle Busch end up on his roof.

On both occasions Almirola was clear as he lead home 17 cars officially scored on the lead lap when the final storm hit the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Almirola led 14 laps in total ending his drought after seven years in Sprint Cup racing. He now qualifies for the Chase for the Cup.

Ambrose was involved in both of the major wrecks, although he would go onto finish in 10th position. In the first crash he took a heavy hit to his Ford’s front end and his crew did a great job to carry out makeshift repairs, especially on the steering.  The second crash he only took slight damage, but had to make a pit stop which had him re-start from down the order.

His recovery to 10th at the finish only outdone by his winning team-mate.

“We were backwards, sideways, and through the grass here. The front got torn off and we are still in the top-10,” said Ambrose.

“We were digging hard. The front end was pushed down and on the race track so it didn’t turn very well but we were hanging tough and in the top-10.

“We were praying for rain. If I knew how to do a rain dance I would have. I’m just really glad the red flag came out here and Richard Petty Motorsports got this win. Aric has done a great job today and deserved to win this race.”

VIDEO: Victory Lane

VIDEO: The first crash

VIDEO: The second crash

 

 

RESULTS: Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola – Daytona International Speedway

POS. CAR DRIVER MANUFACTURER STARTING POS. LAPS LAPS LED FINAL STATUS POINTS BONUS POINTS
1 43 Aric Almirola Ford 15 112 0 Running 47 4
2 55 Brian Vickers Toyota 30 112 0 Running 42 0
3 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 40 112 0 Running 43 2
4 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 22 112 1 Running 41 1
5 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 23 112 0 Running 39 0
6 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 37 112 0 Running 38 0
7 95 Michael McDowell Ford 27 112 0 Running 37 0
8 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 29 112 0 Running 36 0
9 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 34 112 1 Running 36 1
10 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 18 112 0 Running 34 0
11 32 Terry Labonte Ford 38 112 0 Running 33 0
12 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 9 112 0 Running 33 1
13 23 Alex Bowman Toyota 43 112 0 Running 31 0
14 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 7 112 0 Running 30 0
15 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 19 112 0 Running 29 0
16 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 21 112 0 Running 28 0
17 22 Joey Logano Ford 28 112 0 Running 27 0
18 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 26 111 0 Running 26 0
19 66 Michael Waltrip Toyota 41 111 0 Running 25 0
20 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 6 111 12 Running 25 1
21 7 Michael Annett Chevrolet 32 104 2 Running 24 1
22 34 David Ragan Ford 8 102 7 Accident 23 1
23 98 Josh Wise Ford 33 101 0 Running 21 0
24 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 20 100 0 Running 20 0
25 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 31 98 0 Accident 19 0
26 33 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 4 98 0 Accident 18 0
27 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 14 97 0 Accident 17 0
28 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 39 97 0 Accident 16 0
29 16 Greg Biffle Ford 10 97 0 Accident 16 1
30 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 36 97 11 Accident 15 1
31 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 3 97 5 Accident 0 0
32 83 Ryan Truex Toyota 42 97 0 Accident 12 0
33 36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 2 97 4 Accident 12 1
34 26 Cole Whitt Toyota 17 97 0 Accident 10 0
35 38 David Gilliland Ford 1 97 5 Accident 10 1
36 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 35 69 0 Running 8 0
37 99 Carl Edwards Ford 11 66 0 Running 7 0
38 21 Trevor Bayne Ford 25 46 0 Running 0 0
39 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 13 46 0 Running 5 0
40 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 12 45 3 Running 5 1
41 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 16 37 0 Running 3 0
42 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 5 20 0 Accident 2 0
43 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 24 19 0 Accident 1 0

 

 STANDINGS

POSITION DRIVER POINTS BEHIND STARTS WINS TOP 5 TOP 10 DNF
1 Jeff Gordon 651 Leader 18 1 6 13 0
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr 624 -27 18 2 9 12 1
3 Jimmie Johnson 596 -55 18 3 6 12 1
4 Brad Keselowski 586 -65 18 2 8 9 0
5 Matt Kenseth 580 -71 18 0 6 11 1
6 Joey Logano 546 -105 18 2 6 9 3
7 Carl Edwards 543 -108 18 2 4 8 2
8 Ryan Newman 534 -117 18 0 1 6 0
9 Kyle Busch 524 -127 18 1 4 7 2
10 Paul Menard 516 -135 18 0 3 9 0
11 Kevin Harvick 514 -137 18 2 5 8 2
12 Clint Bowyer 509 -142 18 0 2 7 2
13 Austin Dillon 494 -157 18 0 1 2 0
14 Denny Hamlin 493 -158 17 1 4 6 1
15 Greg Biffle 490 -161 18 0 2 5 1
16 Brian Vickers 484 -167 18 0 3 6 1
17 Kyle Larson 482 -169 18 0 3 7 2
18 Kasey Kahne 482 -169 18 0 2 7 3
19 Marcos Ambrose 472 -179 18 0 2 4 0
20 Tony Stewart 465 -186 18 0 2 5 1
21 Aric Almirola 452 -199 18 1 2 4 3
22 Jamie McMurray 447 -204 18 0 2 5 3
23 Casey Mears 438 -213 18 0 1 2 0
24 Kurt Busch 422 -229 18 1 4 4 5
25 AJ Allmendinger 414 -237 18 0 1 3 1
26 Martin Truex Jr 414 -237 18 0 0 3 1
27 Danica Patrick 358 -293 18 0 0 2 2
28 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 342 -309 18 0 1 3 1
29 Justin Allgaier 319 -332 18 0 0 0 3
30 Michael Annett 299 -352 18 0 0 0 2
31 David Gilliland 256 -395 18 0 0 0 4
32 Cole Whitt 254 -397 18 0 0 0 2
33 David Ragan 234 -417 18 0 0 0 2
34 Reed Sorenson 228 -423 18 0 0 0 5
35 Alex Bowman 227 -424 18 0 0 0 4
36 Josh Wise 209 -442 17 0 0 0 1
37 Ryan Truex 134 -517 15 0 0 0 5
38 Michael McDowell 120 -531 9 0 0 1 3
39 Travis Kvapil 108 -543 12 0 0 0 1
40 Terry Labonte 77 -574 3 0 0 0 0
41 Parker Kligerman 54 -597 8 0 0 0 4
42 Michael Waltrip 48 -603 3 0 0 0 1
43 Bobby Labonte 47 -604 2 0 0 0 1
44 David Stremme 43 -608 6 0 0 0 2
45 David Reutimann 37 -614 3 0 0 0 0
46 Brett Moffitt 32 -619 2 0 0 0 0
47 Jeff Burton 27 -624 1 0 0 0 0
48 Juan Pablo Montoya 26 -625 1 0 0 0 0
49 Timmy Hill 19 -632 4 0 0 0 2
50 Dave Blaney 16 -635 4 0 0 0 2
51 Alex Kennedy 10 -641 2 0 0 0 1
52 Boris Said 9 -642 1 0 0 0 0
53 Tomy Drissi 6 -645 1 0 0 0 0
54 Landon Cassill 0 -651 16 0 0 0 3
55 Sam Hornish Jr 0 -651 1 0 0 0 0
56 Trevor Bayne 0 -651 7 0 0 0 2
57 Brian Scott 0 -651 5 0 0 0 1
58 Ryan Blaney 0 -651 1 0 0 0 0
59 Blake Koch 0 -651 3 0 0 0 0
60 Joe Nemechek 0 -651 9 0 0 0 2
61 J.J. Yeley 0 -651 6 0 0 0 3
62 Mike Bliss 0 -651 1 0 0 0 1
63 Morgan Shepherd 0 -651 1 0 0 0 1
64 Eric McClure 0 -651 0 0 0 0 0