NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 from Talladega

Posted May 09, 2017

Aric Almirola held off Elliott Sadler and Joey Logano on the last lap to win Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway. "It means so much they let me run this thing seven or eight times a year, and I have so much fun, especially at the speedway races like Talladega".

After numerous lead changes over the last several laps by drivers that included Logano and Erik Jones, Almirola regained the lead with two laps to go and went on to win his third career NXS race in his 99th start. "Doug Yates (of Roush Yates Engines) brings some awesome horsepower, and our Ford Mustang was super-fast".

Clint Bowyer led the way in the brief practice with a speed of 196.822 miles per hour, followed by Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Joey Logano. It is his eighth top-10 finish of the 2017 season.

Saturday's schedule includes that postponed race and also the XFINITY Series' Sparks Energy 300 and qualifying rounds for the GEICO 500. With this field lacking in many big names, look for Kahne to make a push for the win.

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Logano finished third, followed by Ben Kennedy in fourth and Jones who rounded out the top-five.

"I feel bad about the 16-I got into the back of the 16 and tore up a lot of cars", Almirola said ruefully.

The Big One on the Blvd has quickly become a popular tradition on race weekends at Talladega, with fans gathering for a Mardi Gras-style parade featuring NASCAR drivers that leads to an area where fans then participate in a variety of messy games which are judged by the drivers. "I wish we had another shot at it. We did everything that we could do". And many say a race at Daytona and Talladega can be both mentally and physically exhausting. The result moved him to 17th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship standings, but a penalty could cost him a chance to stay within striking distance of the playoffs.