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Penske Racing

Almirola advances in NASCAR playoffs with Talladega win

Tony Stewart hired Aric Almirola because he believed the journeyman would win races for Stewart-Haas Racing. Almirola came close time and again this year but fell short.

The boss made sure to keep Almirola's spirits high every chance he got, including a pre-race pep talk Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

"He just keeps telling me, 'Calm down, take deep breaths,'" Almirola said. "He's like, 'You're going to win, I promise you. The day I told you I was going to hire you, I knew you were going to win races for my company. Put yourself in position, and it will happen.'"

He put himself in position Sunday to cap an absolute SHR rout at Talladega...

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