The winner of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway won by daylight just before nightfall in New England.
More importantly for him, this driver qualified for the series playoffs with his first win in 2021.
Aric Almirola rallied to score a surprise victory Sunday in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. He drove through rain early and an abbreviated Stage 3 late as NASCAR shortened the race because of approaching darkness.
Below is more about Almirola’s win Sunday, plus the complete results of the race.
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Who won the NASCAR race yesterday?
Aric Almirola, who came into the race 27th in points, gave Stewart-Haas Racing its first win of the season as he defeated Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell by 0.657 seconds. Almirola won duels with teammate Kevin Harvick and Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney to get to the lead. He held off a charging Bell to the checkered flag, aided by the race being shortened.
It was Almirola’s third career win and the first on a track that wasn’t a superspeedway. His last win was in 2018 at Talladega.
“This is by far one of my favorite race tracks,” Almirola told NBCSN’s Marty Snider (via NASCAR.com) after the win. “I love coming up to the New England area and racing. I love this race track. I had this race won a couple of years ago, and I gave it away — I lost it. And I am so glad to win a race here with this race team.”
MORE: Kyle Busch bumps pace car in frustration after wrecking in rain
Drivers and teams weren’t sure when the race would end, which increased the intensity of the racing in Stage 3. NASCAR announced during the race that it would cut the finish to 10 laps to go, with no overtime, if necessary, at any time with sunset approaching. It made the change with Almirola trying to hold off Bell. The race was scheduled for 301 laps; it ended after 293 laps.
“I know lapped cars were giving him a bad time, but I was able to get to him, and it was going to be a heck of a race,” Bell said, per NASCAR.com.
NASCAR results from New Hampshire
Almirola is the 13th different driver to win a Cup race this year. He is eligible for the Round of 16. His win also tightened the race for the final playoff spots. Right now, they belong to Denny Hamlin (points leader but no wins), Kevin Harvick and Tyler Reddick (remaining non-winners with the most points). Austin Dillon was bumped off the grid Sunday. Four races remain in the regular season.
NASCAR will take the next two weekends off for the Olympics and then finish the regular season in August. The next race will be the Go Bowling at The Glen on Aug. 8 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
|1||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|2||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|4||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|5||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|6||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|7||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|8||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|9||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|10||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|12||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|13||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|14||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|15||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|16||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|17||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|18||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|19||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|20||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing|
|21||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|22||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|23||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|24||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|25||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|26||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|27||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|28||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|29||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|30||BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|31||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|32||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|33||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|34||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|35||Quin Houff||00||Starcom Racing|
|36||James Davison||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|37||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|