Aric Almirola’s crash on the 1st lap of Sunday’s Overton’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway was one in a series of twists and turns in a spectrum of emotions that filled the day of our 1st ever experience at a NASCAR race. My kids were decked out in RPM blue t-shirts and all of us had brand new NASCAR hats on to cheer on Aric.
In NASCAR, there are big teams who run up front and contend for the win each week and there are also smaller teams. The smaller teams are some of the hardest working teams in NASCAR, with some teams only having volunteers to help them out. In this case, those smaller teams are working 24/7 toward the next race.
When Aric Almirola suffered an acute compression fracture to his T5 vertebra during an accident at Kansas Speedway back in May, the expectation was that the veteran driver for Richard Petty Motorsports would be sidelined anywhere from eight to twelve weeks. After a grueling rehab process that included physical therapy and swimming, Almirola had just one step left to go before he could return.
For many drivers, getting into a car for a NASCAR race and finishing in 26th place is not exactly the plan at the start of the day. But for Darrell Wallace Jr., this past Sunday at Pocono was a different story. That’s not to say he liked coming across the finish line in 26th place, but it was start of what he hopes is something big.
Indycar fans fell in love with Lyn St. James in 1992 when she won the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award and kicked off a decade-long open wheel career that would eventually include nine starts at the Brickyard.
On Monday, RPM made an historical selection for a more permanent replacement as they announced that Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. will fill in for Almirola and take the seat behind the wheel of the #43 Smithfield Ford Fusion for the Pocono 400 this Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
When you think about the lifeblood of a sports team or league, certainly fans, sponsors, and broadcast partners come to mind. With that in mind, it’s hard to find a more perfect example of how all three of those sources mesh together than NASCAR where everyone benefits from each other’s success. A big component of that success is the increase in business that NASCAR drives to its many sponsors.