NASCAR: One driver singlehandedly keeps 49-year streak alive

Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

With his start to the 2022 season, Aric Almirola singlehandedly kept a NASCAR Cup Series streak alive that goes back nearly five decades.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola has not led a single lap through the first two races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.

In fact, he didn’t really spend all that much time inside the top 10 in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway or in the WISE Power 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

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Yet the driver of the #10 Ford silently managed to finish those two races in fifth and sixth place, respectively.

And with those quiet but productive performances, he managed to singlehandedly extend a Cup Series streak which dates all the way back to the 1974 season.

Through two races, Almirola is the only driver in the Cup Series with two top 10 finishes. We stress “singlehandedly”, because even if you completely remove him from the equation, there still wouldn’t be any double top 10 finishers with the 11th place finishers of both races promoted to 10th.

A total of 19 top 10 finishers through two races is the highest since the 1973 season featured the maximum of 20. In 1973, no driver finished in the top 10 in both of the season’s first two races.

Thanks to Almirola, the 2022 season became the 49th consecutive season during which that was not the case.

Take a look at the top 10 finishers from the 2022 season’s first two races (plus #11).


  1. Austin Cindric
  2. Bubba Wallace
  3. Chase Briscoe
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Aric Almirola
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Michael McDowell
  8. David Ragan
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Chase Elliott
  11. Ty Dillon


  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Austin Dillon
  3. Erik Jones
  4. Daniel Suarez
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Aric Almirola
  7. Kevin Harvick
  8. Kurt Busch
  9. Daniel Hemric
  10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  11. Cole Custer

Take a look at the top 10 finishers from the 1973 season’s first two races, featuring no repeats.


  1. Mark Donohue
  2. Bobby Allison
  3. Ray Elder
  4. Bobby Unser
  5. Jimmy Insolo
  6. Jack McCoy
  7. Elmo Langley
  8. Richard White
  9. J.C. Danielsen
  10. Henley Gray


  1. Richard Petty
  2. Bobby Isaac
  3. Dick Brooks
  4. A.J. Foyt
  5. Hershel McGriff
  6. Buddy Baker
  7. James Hylton
  8. Ramo Stott
  9. Buddy Arrington
  10. Vic Parsons

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Will Almirola make it three for three to start the 2022 season? He is set to start this afternoon’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 20th place. This race is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. If you have not started your free trial of FuboTV, do so now!