clear
Sunday May 29th, 2016 11:38PM

Storybook Daytona win for Almirola a dream come true

By Seth Livingstone - NASCAR Wire Service
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Aric Almirola loves to work on cars. To race them, he says is a bonus.<br /> <br /> And to become the first driver of Cuban descent to win in NASCAR's top series, as he did Sunday at Daytona International Speedway for Richard Petty Motorsports, is fulfillment of a dream beyond any expectations.<br /> <br /> Almirola, 30, grew up not far from Daytona and raced go-karts in the shadow of the World Center of Racing. He attended the University of Central Florida and was working on his degree in mechanical engineering when he got the chance to participate as a development driver with Joe Gibbs Racing and its diversity partnership with former NFL player Reggie White in 2004.<br /> <br /> "Now, here I am a winner in the Sprint Cup Series," he said. "It's pretty amazing. It's just really surreal to be able to make it to this level. I think about this often. I'm one of 43 guys who get to do what I do on Sundays and race at this level and I feel very blessed and lucky to have this opportunity."<br /> <br /> Sunday, his prayers for rain were answered as he waited out an hour-long rain delay. When NASCAR made the Coke Zero 400 official after 112 of 160 scheduled laps, Almirola had his first Sprint Cup win.<br /> <br /> "In 2012, when I came here, Richard Petty Motorsports was on the rebound," Almirola said. "It had been through some turmoil and came out of that. Like Richard said, he wasn't going to give up on it. I was so grateful that they thought that I could be the guy that could contribute to that and could help get the 43 car back to where it needed to be
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 1 year ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 1 year ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Garbo, Jr. to compete in NASCAR K&N East with Whelen sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, NC--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Marsh Racing and longtime team sponsor Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. got the opportunity to put together a race team for 2015, they looked closely at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
12:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Former NASCAR racer pleads guilty in high-speed chase
ST. GEORGE, UT (AP)
12:51PM ( 1 year ago )
Chili Bowl entry list again nearing record 300 mark
TULSA, OK - For the past couple years, the entry list for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has flirted with the 300 mark. Once again, the number of teams registering for the indoor Midget event is nearing the three century mark with 285 entries received for the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
11:59AM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR News
Kurt Buschs ex seeks no-contact order at hearing
DOVER, DE (AP)
12:27PM ( 1 year ago )
Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship after 2016 season
CHARLOTTE, NC (AP)
2:54PM ( 1 year ago )
Sprint Unlimited field features Chase drivers for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Coming off an exciting 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale, NASCAR announced Monday all 16 Chase drivers will be eligible to compete in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
12:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Sprint Cup
Alexander Rossi pulls off stunning upset in 100th Indy 500
Alexander Rossi outlasted his faster rivals _ and his fuel tank _ for a stunning victory Sunday in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500
5:50PM ( 5 hours ago )
Baseball: Panthers, Dragons dominate Region 8-AAA All-Region selections
Region 8-AAA continued to be a major player in Class AAA in 2016 with Jackson County getting within one win of the state championship round.
9:23AM ( 14 hours ago )
Golf: Ralston, Forrester amongst 11 area golfers named All-State
Gainesville's Spencer Ralston was named Class AAAAA boys player of the year, while North Hall's Bartley Forrester was named first team for Class AAAA boys in the 2016 Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association (GHSGCA) All-State team released this week.
By AccessWDUN Staff
9:01AM ( 14 hours ago )
The hype is back at Indy and everyone wants to win the 100th
Tony Kanaan spent the final practice before the Indianapolis 500 talking to the race track. He wanted to be kind to the old lady, to land in her good graces before the historic 100th running of "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing."
By The Associated Press
9:00AM ( 14 hours ago )
Baseball: 2016 Region 7-AAA All-Region team
After a rebounding season for Region 7-AAA as a whole, the 2016 Region 7-AAA All-Region baseball team was released on Friday.
8:10AM ( 15 hours ago )