Playoff drivers in trouble: No. 3 – Aric Almirola
Last season, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola appeared slated to miss the playoffs for the first time in four seasons as the driver of the #10 Ford. However, he ended up vaulting himself into the playoff picture with a late regular season victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and that was enough to keep his playoff streak alive.
This season, Almirola had a much stronger start, reeling off three consecutive top six finishes to open up the year. In fact, because he was the only driver to record top 10 finishes in both of the season’s first two races, he singlehandedly extended a streak that goes back all the way to the 1974 season.
But things haven’t gone smoothly for Almirola since that streak of top six finishes ended, as he has just two top 10 finishes in the 15 races that have been contested since then.
Almirola finds himself two spots below the playoff cut line, and his deficit to that cut line continues to grow. He sits in a respectable 12th place in the point standings, but because there have been six winners from below him in points, he sits in 18th in the playoff picture.
Despite the fact that he has had a much stronger overall start to the 2022 season than he did to the 2021 season, he could find himself in the same position as he was last year: needing a victory to secure a postseason berth. Will he make it five for five at Stewart-Haas Racing in the final season before he retires?