“We had a good No. 43 Smithfield/Waffle House Ford Fusion,” said Almirola. “It didn’t take off as great as other cars did, but the handling got better and better as our runs continued. To go from being a lap down to finishing in the Top 15 is tough, but my team worked hard and put in a great effort. This definitely gives us a motivational boost going into Michigan next week.”
“Bristol is an animal of its own. It’s a very unique racetrack. When we race there, the speeds are lower, and the baking holds the car to make the grip. So the downforce package isn’t as much of a factor when we go to Bristol as it is in other places. But, I think we took good notes away from the spring race there, and I’m looking forward to going back in our No. 43 Smithfield/Waffle House Ford.
“What a day in Watkins Glen,” said Almirola. “Road-course racing can be rough, and we saw that today, getting caught up in three separate accidents not of our own making. It definitely wasn’t the day that we set out to have, but my team fought through it and we worked with what we had in front of us. I hate that we couldn’t get the No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion a better finish.
“Watkins Glen was just repaved, and I think it’s going to change how we approach the race. I think the ‘s-turns’ will be much faster, and we’ll carry a lot more speed down into the bus stop. The whole race track will have a lot more grip. I’m hopeful that it won’t become a one-lane racetrack.
Aric Almirola’s weekend started with reflection on the fact that he would be making his 200th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but when it came time to hit the track, Almirola was only focused on scoring a decent finish and turning his season around.