“I’m excited to run the 1979 STP paint scheme this year at Darlington,” said Almirola. ‘We had a lot of fun with the throwback theme last year, and it should be fun to throwback again this year. It makes the race so special.
“I’m really looking forward to heading back to Michigan International Speedway. Last year, when we raced there, we had higher downforce and higher drag. That package really didn’t do what we were hoping for though. Everyone was hoping that we would run side-by-side, be able to draft more and make slingshot passes.
“That was definitely one of the best handling cars that I’ve ever had in Pocono,” said Almirola. “It’s a shame that we didn’t have the speed we needed. But, considering this is not a track that I’ve performed well at in the past, I think this is definitely a step in the right direction. My team worked hard to keep me up in the Top 15 for a good portion of the day.
“I’m hoping that what I expect from the new lower-downforce package at Pocono will align with what will actually happen once we get cars on track. Back in the day when the cars were sliding all over the place and the track’s pavement was old, Pocono put on some really awesome races.
“We definitely have a lot of work to do,” said Almirola. “Our No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion was just difficult for us to get a handle on tonight. And, it was hard for me to run consistent laps when it was all over the place and so snappy loose on exit. It was definitely a tough 600 miles for our team tonight, but we’ll continue to work hard and do what it takes to get our Ford Fusion back to the front of the pack.