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This week: Almirola's win, Taurasi's grin

By Jose Romero - Jul 09, 2014

It's a pretty good week to be Aric Almirola and Diana Taurasi. Here's why. 

Almirola, 30, became the first NASCAR driver of Cuban descent to win a Sprint Cup race when he won a rain-shortened event at Daytona International Speedway this past Sunday. 

The native of Tampa won his first career Sprint Cup race not far from his hometown, and joined Juan Pablo Montoya and Nelson Piquet Jr. as the only Latinos ever to win a national series race. 

With his second top-five and fourth top-10 finish this season, Almirola is almost certainly assured a spot in the Chase, aka the NASCAR playoffs. He's 21st in series points, according to the NASACR wire service. 

Taurasi and her lucky dark blue Argentina soccer jersey have been inseparable during the World Cup, and as good fortune would have it, she got to watch her beloved Argentina in the second half and into overtime and penalties in the Phoenix Mercury locker room after the Mercury trounced the Seattle Storm 78-58 Wednesday afternoon.

Taurasi, with deep family roots in the South American country, tried to talk with reporters after the game, but they blocked her view of the match on a TV screen. So when something exciting was happening, she'd spring up from her chair to look over the media throng and see what it was. 

She didn't even get to finish answering the last question posed to her, because Argentina got dangerously close to a goal but was called offside. 

It's OK, Diana, I understand. Completely. And I love the jersey.

When the media had left, Taurasi got to enjoy the heroic exploits of Leo Messi, Sergio Romero and the Albicelestes in their shootout semifinal win over The Netherlands. A win on the court with her basketball team, a win in Sao Paulo for her soccer team. 

Here's hoping DT's luck rubs off on Argentina in Sunday's World Cup final against Germany. 




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