Aric Almirola clinches playoff spot with win at New Hampshire (7-18-21)

By: Becca Cottingham

Headline Photo Courtesy: Aric Almirola Twitter Page

Becca Cottingham-LegacyMaker Sports Network Head NASCAR Writer, Host of “Monster Minutes”

We are at New Hampshire Motor Speedway also known as The Magic Mile. We have a couple of weepers on the track still from rain that moved through early today. Within the first five laps, we have already had a stack up that may cause an issue. Then Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex Jr all spun out. NASCAR put us under a red flag until they can get the trackback dry but they will be under a time crunch due to no lights at the track. When we get back green it does not take long before Anthony Alfredo goes into the wall. This is very beneficial to Joey Logano as he was held for two laps. Racing heats up as they know that they could be racing time. Chase Elliott gets loose and falls backward as Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski move forward. Ryan Blaney holds off Brad Keselowski and wins stage one.

Kevin Harvick makes huge moves on pit road and comes out first. He brings us to the green flag for stage two. He gets a great restart where Denny Hamlin does not get a great restart. We have the longest green flag race event until Quin Houff ends up in the wall. We have another restart of Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin and Denny seemed to struggle once again. Bubba Wallace and Chris Buescher had an issue that brings out a caution. This gains Joey Logano back his final lap back he was down. The restart of stage two goes similar to the others. It does not take long though for Brad Keselowski to get caught up to Kevin Harvick and pass him. Brad will hold the lead and win stage two.

Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney bring us to the green flag of the third stage. Kevin Harvick was shoving Brad Keselowski down the track. The drivers are leaving everything possible on the track as they know they could be racing darkness. Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney are trading painting or bumping into one another as they trade the lead. Aric Almirola makes his way through the field passing cars to the front of the field. He goes to the lead until other drivers start heading down pit road. He will then go back to battling with Brad Keselowski to make sure that he can keep the lead. This can upset the points completely as he battles to keep the lead. Aric Almirola watches as Christopher Bell gets closer to him as NASCAR calls ten to go. Aric hits his marks and is our unofficial winner.