Almirola scored his third career win in the series Saturday when he crossed the finish line free and clear in the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. "It means so much they let me run this thing seven or eight times a year, and I have so much fun, especially at the speedway races like Talladega". Allgaier gave up the lead to Logano on a Logano crossover move, but Almirola got by him.
Of course, that was at Daytona in the first race of the 2017 season, and it could charitably be called a wreck-fest. That's not exactly comforting for teams looking for their first wins, including the likes of Sadler, Wallace, William Byron and Daniel Hemric, but it does mean lots of different cars have a shot at a victory.
Sadler finished second, his sixth top-10 showing in nine NXS starts at Talladega.
Saturday's schedule includes that postponed race and also the XFINITY Series' Sparks Energy 300 and qualifying rounds for the GEICO 500.
Logano finished third, followed by Ben Kennedy in fourth and Jones who rounded out the top-five.
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"We were just one spot short today", Sadler said.
"I feel bad about the 16-I got into the back of the 16 and tore up a lot of cars", Almirola said ruefully. "We only do this (type of racing) four times a year, so it's hard to be really good at it, or at least it's hard for me".
Typical penalties for such infractions include a 35-point driver and team owner deduction and a three-race suspension for the team's crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer. Selfishly, I wish the caution came out, but for the fans I'm glad that it didn't.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers were able to get on the track briefly before rainy conditions ended the practice session for good. And many say a race at Daytona and Talladega can be both mentally and physically exhausting.