Surprising breaking news stories on a Monday after a massive sports weekend are nothing out of the ordinary. That being said, not many were expecting the stunning announcement NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola gave on Monday.
Aric Almirola Announces Retirement from NASCAR Cup Series
Aric Almirola dropped a seven-minute video on Youtube Monday morning. In the video, Almirola announced he will be retiring following the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. The 37-year-old driver says he is ready to settle down and be a family man with his wife and two kids. The driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Mustang has three career Cup Series wins and five playoff appearances.
The driver whose nickname is “The Cuban Missile” has had a roller coaster of a NASCAR Cup Series career. Almirola was given his first opportunity at the highest level of stock car racing in 2012 when he drove for Richard Petty Motorsports. His first win in the Cup Series came in 2014 at the famous Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero Sugar 400. In 2017, Almirola missed some races after breaking an L-4 vertebrae in a crash.
In 2018, Aric Almirola left RPM for Stewart-Haas Racing and replaced Danica Patrick in the No. 10 car. He led the Daytona 500 on the final lap, but was wrecked going into Turn 4 and finished 12th. He was able to get a win later that season at Talladega Superspeedway. Almirola continues to be one of the best superspeedway racers in the sport today.
Almirola had a string of top-5 finishes in 2020, but could never get the job done as far as reaching victory lane. In 2021, Almirola surprised the NASCAR Cup Series world with his win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway which allowed him to qualify for the postseason in what was otherwise a down year for him and all of SHR.
Almirola to Finish out NASCAR Career with Stewart-Haas Racing
Almirola will certainly be missed in the NASCAR community when he calls it a career after the upcoming 2022 season. To that end, let’s not forget that he still has a whole season left to race. Almirola has 36 more opportunities to get score one more win for the road.
With the new Next Gen Car set to take over at the Cup Series level, who knows? Maybe Almirola can even make some noise in the championship picture in his final season.