Aric Almirola Loses Crew Member at Texas Motor Speedway

Aric Almirola

Getty Aric Almirola will not have his engineer for the Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Aric Almirola’s No. 10 team will lose a crew member for the race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR officials ejected an engineer after multiple failed pre-race inspections at the intermediate track.

The Cup Series teams went through inspection on Friday, September 23. All of the entries passed on the first or second attempts, with the exception of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang. Almirola’s ride failed two times, which resulted in the loss of pit stall selection and engineer James Kimbrough.

Almirola’s No. 10 Ford passed on the third attempt, so he will not have to serve a pass-through penalty at the start of the 500-mile race. He was also able to post a qualifying lap on the morning of September 24, and he posted the 25th-fastest time. Almirola will line up next to Noah Gragson for the start of the Cup Series race.

The 500-mile race will take place on Sunday, September 25. USA Network will provide coverage at 3:30 p.m. ET with Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the booth.

Almirola Has Turned in Some Solid Performances at Texas

Aric Almirola

GettyAric Almirola has multiple top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway.

The trip to Texas Motor Speedway marks Almirola’s 22nd career Cup Series start at the track. He has turned in some strong performances throughout his time with various teams, but he has also dealt with some issues.

Almirola has an average finish of 18.0 at Texas Motor Speedway, and he has finished all but one race. His stat line includes five career top-10 finishes and one top-five — a runner-up behind teammate Kevin Harvick during the 2019 season.

Starting outside of the top 20 has not traditionally led to strong finishes by Almirola, whether he raced for Richard Petty Motorsports or Stewart-Haas Racing. However, he did showcase an ability to rebound early in the 2019 season. He started 21st in the spring race and then he finished seventh overall, just ahead of Harvick.

Almirola will now enter the Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with the goal of pursuing his first win of the 2022 season. He will enter the weekend as a longshot, per BetMGM. Almirola will suit up for the 500-mile race with 200-1 odds to win, putting him behind several drivers including Austin Dillon (100-1) and Chris Buescher (100-1).

The Ford Drivers Were Strong During the All-Star Race

Brad Keselowski

GettyBrad Keselowski celebrates a pole win at Texas Motor Speedway.

While Almirola won’t have a favorable starting position at Texas Motor Speedway, he will have opportunities to make some positive moves. The Ford Performance drivers certainly showed speed during the All-Star Race.

Blaney won the exhibition race with a $1 million payday, but he was one of five Ford Performance drivers that finished inside the top 10. The list also included Austin Cindric (third), Joey Logano (fourth), Chris Buescher (eighth), and Brad Keselowski (ninth). Almirola finished 12th while driving the Busch Bacon Ford.

Will this speed transfer to a very hot fall race at Texas Motor Speedway? Based on qualifying, it’s certainly possible. Keselowski won the pole for the Cup Series race, his first pole win since the 2019 season. Logano posted the second-fastest time while Michael McDowell posted the fifth-fastest time in his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford.

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