Their Coke Zero 400 victory propelled them into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. And as 2015 looms, they have bigger goals now.
During his co-host role in today’s episode of NASCAR AMERICA, Almirola talked about those aspirations and also discussed how competing in the Chase caused them all to recognize that they had to raise their game.
“Everybody really understands now at RPM what level of excellence is expected out of them throughout the season, especially when you get to those last 10 races,” he said today.
“It’s amazing how much the level of competition actually increases when you get to Chicago to start the Chase. Now we have a better understanding of how tough we’ve got it [then], and how hard we’ve gotta work.”
Almirola’s win was the first for the famous Petty No. 43 car since John Andretti took the checkered flag at Martinsville in 1999. Almirola wants to ensure that it won’t take as long for the next one to occur.
“I don’t want somebody else 15 years from now talking about trying to get the 43 car back to Victory Lane,” he said.
For more on how Almirola and RPM have been preparing for the new season, check out the clip at the top.
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto