Aric Almirola rolled into Victory Lane yesterday after winning NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway while driving the legendary #43 car.
''The 43 car is without a doubt the most famous car in our sport's history,'' Almirola told Yahoo Sports. ''And to have that opportunity to drive that race car has been really special from the day that I stepped foot in it. All I wanted to do from the very first time I drove it was get it to Victory Lane. It took two and a half years I guess, but I finally did it.''
Almirola managed to maneuver his way around several crashes, given the rainy weather. He was one of seven who did not end up tangled in a 25-car mess of metal and tires. As the race was put on pause, he found himself in first place with 48 laps to go. Heavy rain brought the race to an early end, leaving Almirola the champion.
''I was doing a lot of hardcore praying, hoping the good Lord would open the skies up and let it rain,'' Almirola told Yahoo. ''If we would have went back racing, I still think we had enough car to go there.”
Other drivers are not so sure the decision to end the race early was fair -- after all, 48 laps are a long way to go in the world of racing.
''I don't think this was handed to us by any means. Let me be very clear about that. ... Those last two restarts, Kurt Busch and Austin Dillon and Brian Vickers, they didn't just let me go. They saw the rain coming, too, and we were all racing for it.”