While last weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway proved to be a great success for some drivers, it wasn’t so for the four who were eliminated from championship contention. Among the four was Aric Almirola, who narrowly missed the cutoff for the Round of 12. Almirola and the other eliminated drivers – Tyler Reddick, Michael McDowell and Kurt Busch – will be looking to rebound this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but Almirola admits it isn’t the same no longer being one of the drivers in the championship hunt.
“It was frustrating,” the Stewart-Haas Racing driver said of how things ended up at Bristol, where it appeared for much of the night that he might advance to the next round. “I’m disappointed to have it end like that. ... That’s not the way we wanted it to end, but we’ll keep going and battle it out the rest of the playoffs and see if we can’t finish inside the top 10 in points.” Reddick, who needed just two more points to reach the Round of 12, feels similarly about this weekend at Las Vegas and the remainder of the 2021 season.
“It stinks, but we still get to go race the last, I don't know, six or seven races we have on the schedule,” the Richard Childress Racing driver and two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion said. “Good tracks for us. Our starting spot and pit stall won't be as good, but everything else on the racetrack will be. We'll make the most out of those races.”