BRISTOL, Tenn. — Aric Almirola’s streak of six consecutive top-ten finishes came to an end early in the race on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500.
On the first lap of the race, William Byron got loose and drifted up the track ultimately sending Almirola into the Turn 2 wall. Almirola was unable to continue the race and was credited with a 37th-place finish, last.
“The 24 just got loose under me,” Almirola said to Ford Performance. “He struggled to get going on the initial start. He spun his tires and then was just loose and out of control that whole first lap. When we went down in turn one he lost it under me and wiped us out.
“I’m pretty frustrated. You work all weekend, all week getting ready for the event and to make it one lap is kind of uncalled for, so I’m disappointed, frustrated, but life goes on. We’ll go to Richmond.”
Almirola says that William Byron’s lack of experience is what contributed to the lap one incident.
“I think some of it is inexperience on William’s part,” Almirola said. “I think he started to panic because he started to lose spots on the start because he spun his tires on the start, and probably a little bit over his head with the tire pressures and everything not coming up and he just lost it.
“He got loose underneath me, lost it and ran right into the side of us and wrecked us. Part of that comes with experience, I guess, but, either way, it doesn’t change the outcome for us today.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 7, 2019
Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, has finished inside the top-ten in every race this year with the exception of the season-opening Daytona 500 almost two months ago.
Matt Courson is the Managing Editor for The Racing Experts. Courson has covered NASCAR events at 19 of the 23 active racetracks. When not at the track, the 20-year-old Journalism major enjoys spending time with family and playing Ingress.