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Aric Almirola Wins Stage 1, Brennan Poole Climbs 29 Spots for Career Best Stage

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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What’s Happening?

Who’s ready for some short trackin’? That’s right! After a week of turning both left and right at the nearly 4-mile-long road course Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, it’s time to get back to basics as the stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series took to Richmond Raceway. The opening stage was 75 laps in length. All teams were given four sets of tires (minus the ones on which they took the green) and the projected fuel window was reported to be 115-125 laps.

There were a lot of comers and goers early on in this race. It was polesitter Parker Retzlaff who led the opening laps of the race. He later lost the lead to JRM driver Justin Allgaier who led a decent number of laps. But it was veteran Aric Almirola in the JGR number 20 who went on to capture the green and white checkered flag to win the opening stage.

The Main Characters

It was an interesting offseason for Aric Almirola as he announced that he would retire from full-time racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. During a Washington Commanders football game, Coach Gibbs let it slip that Almirola, who was in attendance, was his new driver. It was later announced that Almirola would split the No. 20 car with John Hunter Nemechek. Richmond is his first start in this new deal. His stage win in the opening stage at Richmond marks his second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Around The Garage

Jordan Anderson Racing driver, Parker Retzlaff, scored his first career pole during qualifying on Saturday morning. To start the race, he chose the outside lane to start the race and fought off defending series champion, Cole Custer to lead the opening laps. To learn more about Parker, check out this interview below.

Turning heads this weekend was late model legend, Bubba Pollard, who made his Xfinity Series debut today in Richmond. Bubba, driving the No. 88 for JR Motorsports, was fastest in practice. A bobble in qualifying mired him back to the 37th starting position but considering his sheer speed, it should be an interesting race to watch for the fifth JRM entry.

Pollard’s teammate, Brandon Jones, just can’t seem to catch a break! After some light contact with polesitter Parker Retzlaff, Jones’ number 9 Chevy was seen spinning out and backing into the outside SAFER barrier. The issue was reportedly an engine issue as fire erupted beneath the car and fluid was spilled on the racing surface.

In The Stands

Buff Men Enthusiast picked Almirola to win the race and was apparently called “crazy”. I don’t think that’s crazy at all. In fact…as a Dale Jr. fan, I’m getting flashbacks from when Jr., fresh off wrapping up his Cup career, led the most laps at Richmond in 2018.

Conclusion

There was a lot of parity in this opening stage, that’s for sure. A lot of drivers showed speed early but with the wear on the tires, they almost all faded. Brennan Poole finished the stage in the top-10 and Bubba Pollard was climbing up through the field in a hurry. One stage down, two to go in Richmond, Virginia!

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Picture of Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
All Posts