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Aric Almirola Leads 71 Laps to Take Cup Series Stage 1 Win at Kentucky

SPARTA, KENTUCKY – JULY 12: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, races Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Vote For Bacon Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway on July 12, 2020 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Aric Almirola has been impressive as of late, as he had finished inside the top-five in five consecutive races heading into Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. In Stage 1 of Sunday’s race, he kept the momentum going as he led 71 of the 80 laps in the Stage and cruised to his second Stage win of 2020.

The 71 laps he led in Stage 1 already makes this Almirola’s most laps led in a single race of his career.

Chase Elliott finished second in the Stage, and he was followed by a slew of Fords.

Joey Logano, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney capped off the top-five.

Blaney had his car pop out of gear at one point, and had to manually hold the shifter in place in the turns for a large portion of the Stage. He will get a bungie cord under the pit stops during the Stage break.

Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-10 finishers in Stage 1. Truex had to rally from the rear of the field after failing pre-race inspection twice on Sunday.

Matt Kenseth, who finished second in last week’s Brickyard 400, also started in the rear due to multiple pre-race inspection failures. He has rebounded to run 20th at the end of Stage 1.

Stage and Playoff Points Awarded in Stage 1:

Finish Driver Stage Points Playoff Points
1 Aric Almirola 10 1
2 Chase Elliott 9 0
3 Joey Logano 8 0
4 Matt DiBenedetto 7 0
5 Ryan Blaney 6 0
6 Kevin Harvick 5 0
7 Alex Bowman 4 0
8 Kurt Busch 3 0
9 Clint Bowyer 2 0
10 Martin Truex Jr. 1 0


Toby Christie View All

Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.

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