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Almirola happy for experience, even if it was a trying one

Aric Almirola understands why he was pulled from the winning car in Saturday's Busch race before it was over. he didn't like it, but he is thankful for the experience, writes Mark Ashenfelter.

Updated: June 28, 2007, 4:51 PM ET
By Mark Ashenfelter | ESPN.com

For a split second, Aric Almirola thought crew chief Dave Rogers was pulling a joke when he radioed for the driver to hit pit road and get out of his Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet. Quickly, though, Almirola realized it was for real.

The pain in Rogers' voice said it all, as he instructed Almirola to turn the car over to Denny Hamlin during Saturday night's AT&T 250 at The Milwaukee Mile. Almirola drove the car in practice and qualified it on the pole, but was never supposed to drive it.

Hamlin, ...

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