NASCAR America: Aric Almirola’s back to racing was wet, bumpy journey

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After eight weeks of work and rehab, Aric Almirola will return to the cockpit of the No. 43 Ford this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Almirola has successfully gone through the process of recovering from a T5 compression fracture he suffered in a May crash at Kansas Speedway. In the above video, NASCAR America takes you through the rigorous process the 33-year-old driver went through to return to the track.

“If there is a widget or a gadget out there that claims it will heal you faster, I own it,” Almirola said.

Watch as Almirola swims, exercises and goes through a simulator test in his No. 43 Ford that recreates the pressures of racing at Bristol and Texas Motor Speedway.

All of that was in preparation for his first on-track action since the accident on Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I’ll tell you what was crazy, was leaving pit road just going up through the gears, I went through second, grabbed third and I was like, ‘Crap, I’m flying’,” Almirola said. “You talk about the routine (of racing) you get so used to getting on the race track and going, the speed becomes normal. And when you get out of it a while and you get going 200 mph, you’re like ‘I am flying.'”

Watch the video below for Almirola’s full account of his first time back on-track.

NASCAR America: Looking back at Cup winners this year (video)

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The NASCAR Cup Series is through 19 racers. There are 17 more races to be contested, including seven before the Cup playoffs.

It’s been a rough time for many and a successful time for a select few.

There’s still plenty of racing to go. Who will see their name added to the list of winners in 2017 and, more importantly, who still wins a race to make it in the playoffs?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Can Team Penske get back on track in Indianapolis? (video)

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Roger Penske is used to winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He owns a record 16 Indy 500 victories there.

But Penske still has yet to win a Brickyard 400 at IMS. While in other years, Team Penske’s chances may have been stronger, coming into the 2017 Brickyard 400 is a whole other ballgame.

Joey Logano has struggled terribly in the last 10 races. Since winning at Richmond (which was eventually encumbered due to a post-race inspection penalty), Logano has had seven finishes of 21st through 37th. He’s also dropped from fifth to 13th in the standings.

Teammate Brad Keselowski has had his own struggles, dropping from third to eighth in the standings.

The biggest problem that seems to be impacting Team Penske is a lack of speed, more so on Logano’s car, but an issue nonetheless for both cars.

Can Team Penske snap out of its funk and find the speed it’s been missing Sunday, and potentially give Captain Penske his first NASCAR Cup win at the track that means so much to him?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch needs to be aware of Martin Truex Jr. at Brickyard (video)

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Kyle Busch is well aware of his wins drought, not having won in his last 36 Cup starts.

But he also gains confidence and optimism from having won the last two Brickyard 400s.

So how will that impact the weekend?

On Friday’s NASCAR America, Dale Jarrett said Indy “plays into Busch’s hand,” but also to look out for Martin Truex Jr.

Check out the video above.



NASCAR America: Significance of winning at Indianapolis (video)

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On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, two-time Brickyard 400 winner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Brickyard-winning crew chief Slugger Labbe, who led Paul Menard to a Brickyard 400 win, both discussed the importance of winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — as well as how to do it.

Check out the video above.