Aric Almirola came close to snapping a more than 100 race winless streak so many times this year many questioned if it would ever happen. When Kurt Busch’s engine sputtered exiting Turn 4 at Talladega Superspeedway last week, Almirola was in position to capitalize and he held the field at bay during the run to the checkers.
Almirola’s 1000Bulbs.com 500 win was his second career victory and first in 149 races. His first win also came on a restrictor-plate track in July 2014 at Daytona – a race that locked him into that year’s playoffs. Sunday’s win guarantees he will advance to the Round of 8 as a championship contender.
Almirola’s win was one of several conclusions to winless streaks of 50 or more races.
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These drivers “have been put in the right situations and trying to find that right mix for a driver – you just never know when that is,” Dale Jarrett said on Monday’s edition of NASCAR America. “You keep trying to put yourself in that position. Clint Bowyer went a year at least … when he was not in contention whatsoever, but he knew what was on the horizon for him.”
When Bowyer won in March, he snapped a 190-race winless streak. Chase Elliott’s first win at Watkins Glen came in his 99th start.
Busch broke a 58-race winless streak at Bristol in August while Ryan Blaney’s visit to victory lane at the Charlotte Roval was his first in 50 races.
There are two common threads among these drivers.
Almirola, Bowyer and Busch compete for Stewart-Haas Racing who is having a breakthrough season.
Elliott, Blaney and Almirola each scored their first or second career wins in breaking their streaks.