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Aric Almirola ‘just sad’ with 2nd-place finish

Aric Almirola picked up his best finish in over two NASCAR Cup Series seasons Sunday in the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Aric Almirola waves to the crowd during driver introductions before the October 29, 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Photo by Erick Messer/TRE

Utilizing a two-tire pit call during the third stage of the race, Almirola led for 66 laps, the most in a Cup Series race since 2020. Then, after lap traffic ate up his six-second lead, eventual winner Ryan Blaney passed Aric Almirola with 23 laps to go.

“Honestly, I’m just sad,” Almirola said regarding his emotions with finishing runner-up to Blaney. “We had a good car. We just fought track position.”

MORE: Aric Almirola not returning to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2024

Almirola, a three-time Cup Series winner, last visited Victory Lane in 2021 at Loudon, 85 races ago.

“I’m just really proud and really proud of this team,” Almirola said. “I wanted that one so bad. I got my family here. My grandparents here helped me get my start in racing. I wanted so bad to celebrate with my family in Victory Lane.”

Almirola will have one more chance to get to victory lane with Stewart-Haas Racing with the season finale next Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

Dominic Aragon View All

I am a co-owner and reporter for

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