Thirty years and two days after Richard Petty drove No. 43 to his 200th Cup win at the at Daytona International Speedway, Aric Almirola drove the 43 to his first.
The 30-year-old Cuban-American racing driver won his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday after the Coke Zero 400 was called 48 laps from the finish due to rain at Daytona International Speedway.
Almirola’s first Cup win came on the same weekend Petty celebrated the 30th anniversary of his 200th career win. Almirola was just a baby when Petty picked up that milestone victory.
“The 43 car is without a doubt the most famous car in our sport’s history,” Almirola said. “And to have that opportunity to drive that race car has been really special from the day that I stepped foot in it. All I wanted to do from the very first time I drove it was get it to Victory Lane. It took two and a half years I guess, but I finally did it.”
Almirola, who has never finished higher than 18th in the Sprint Cup Series points standings, will compete for NASCAR’s championship this fall.