Aric Almirola made a decision on Monday that I figured would happen at some point before the next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on May 2 at Kansas Speedway.
He mutually agreed to part ways with James Finch's Phoenix Racing and its No. 09 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
In fairness, you can't criticize Finch for running as a start and parker due to losing sponsor Miccosukee Resort and Gaming just prior to the start of the 2010 season, and I won't.
Almirola has made four of seven races attempted by the team and never runs past 60 laps.
Not only do I have new-found respect for Finch for making this move, but I also respect Almirola even more for his decision to concentrate on trucks and it's a move that will help his racing career.
His sole focus will be on driving the No. 51 Graceway Pharmaceutical team for Billy Ballew Motorsports and to contend for the driver's title.
Almirola sits second in the driver points, which is 82 points behind leader Timothy Peters, picking up one top-five and three top-10 finishes this season.
You knew when Almirola was named the driver of the No. 51, replacing Kyle Busch, that not only would he run well, but that he would inherit the third best team in the series and challenge for the title.
Almirola also has one of the best veteran crew chiefs in Richie Wauters. He's getting the education of his racing life and it's a pairing that will make him a better racer.
Sure, it's tough. It's every young driver's dream to race in the Sprint Cup and he's had more than his fair share of adversity trying to land on his feet in the series.
I'm bummed that the deal with Finch didn't workout for him. I figured he would have been top-25, or maybe better, and have something to build on career-wise.
But when you look at the big picture, Almirola will be racing in some very competitive equipment for BBM, and he has a legitimate chance to win the championship this year.
It's also a move that will open better doors of opportunity for him.
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