NASCAR drivers who could be in serious trouble: No. 2 – Aric Almirola
Sitting just below Kevin Harvick in the point standings is teammate Aric Almirola, who sits in 12th place but currently finds himself in the 16th and final spot in the playoff picture.
Almirola has qualified for the playoffs in all four of his seasons with Stewart-Haas Racing as the driver of the #10 Ford, and with the 2022 season being his final season in the NASCAR Cup Series, he is looking to make it a perfect five for five.
But that could prove to be a struggle.
Almirola has actually had a stronger start to the 2022 season than many anticipated. He started the season with three straight top six finishes, and simply by finishing in the top 10 in the first two races, he singlehandedly extended a streak that dates all the way back to 1974.
He is one of two drivers to finish all 13 races so far, and he has completed more miles on-track than anybody. His worst finish of 26th place is the best worst finish of any driver.
Yet he is still fighting for a playoff spot, and that fight will not get any easier. He has just a single top 10 finish in the 10 races that have taken place since his hot start to the year, and he sits just 11 points above the cut line.
Last year, Almirola qualified for the playoffs with an upset victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway late in the regular season; he was nowhere near making the cut on points.
This year, he hasn’t had nearly the poor start he had last year, yet he still might need a victory to secure his spot.