Almirola wins at Talladega further burying the championship hopes for Larson, Bowman

Talladega Truck Race- TV Times

He put himself in position Sunday to cap an absolute SHR rout at Talladega with an overtime victory that earned him an automatic berth into the third round of NASCAR's playoffs.

He was part of a four-car Ford tandem that dominated the entire race. Almirola came close time and again this year but fell short. "We are going down to the checkered flag, Noah is going for it, too".

Timothy Peters bumped leader Noah Gragson out of his way on the final lap at Talladega Superspeedway, then blocked traffic for the final mile to win the Truck Series race Saturday.

Almirola almost won the season-opening Daytona 500 but was wrecked while leading on the final lap. But the team understood how dominant it had been all day and fortunate it was to leave Talladega with one driver locked into the next round of the playoffs and the other three still in contention. On the restart Kurt Busch held onto the lead with Almirola right behind him and it looked like he was heading for the win when his engine sputtered, opening the way for Almirola to zip by him and cross the finish line.105 ahead of teammate Clint Bowyer. They ran nose to tail as the field races three and four wide for 5th on back. This race, the Hollywood Casino 400, is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Bowman crashed in the closing laps, meaning he is absolutely facing a must-win scenario next Sunday.

The remaining four playoff drivers were Brad Keselowski (18th), Ryan Blaney (19th), Joey Logano (20th) and Kyle Larson (34th). As he tried to correct the swerve, Johnson's auto went spinning onto the apron and hitting the inside wall.

Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen were eliminated from the playoff field.

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Their partnership is the longest active driver and crew chief pairing in current NASCAR, and the most successful of their era.

Almirola took the lead in overtime and held on for the victory at the 1000Bulbs.com 500. Six laps later, Enfinger was knocked from the lead by Gilliland's father, David, who was in second. They both finished outside of the top-25 and now enter next weekend needing both stage points and a top-10 to likely advance.

"I'm really happy a Stewart-Haas vehicle won".

Hendrick Motorsports had the next fastest fleet as the Chevrolets from Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman and William Byron qualified in slots five through eight.

SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli said the effort started after Dover when the drivers were urged to work together at Talladega as teammates.

From a handling standpoint, the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. was pure evil on Sunday at Talladega.

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