“I think that Kansas is starting to get back to what it used to be before the repave. Now when we show up, cars are moving all over the track. When they first repaved Kansas, the grove was right there on the bottom, on the white line. It was one groove but still very fast. Now with the weathering of the track and the tires that Goodyear has been bringing, we’ve been moving around a lot.
“Man, what a crazy day in Charlotte,” said Almirola. “We had a lot of work to do before the race to get our No. 43 Smithfield Ford handling how we needed it to. For most of the race, the car was just as loose as it could be and difficult to drive. We found ourselves a couple of laps down because of it. But, my team never gave up and got us back on the lead lap.
One-mile tracks have been good to Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team over the past two weeks. With a 17th-place finish in Loudon and a 16th-place finish in Dover, Almirola is carrying momentum heading to Charlotte this weekend. Mile-and-a-half tracks have presented challenges for the No. 43 team throughout season, but the newly-restructured team is settling in and showing progress.
“We had a great No. 43 Smithfield Ford today,” said Almirola. “It was especially great on restarts, and I was moving through the field pretty well. That loose wheel killed our chances there towards the end, but Drew’s decision to try and make it on fuel from that point on was definitely the best call. We weren’t going to get back on the lead lap, but we wanted to get back as many positions as we could.
With changes in the race shop and on the road, Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield team have been working hard to get the 2016 season turned around and begin preparations for next year. Coming off of a disappointing finish in Chicago, Almirola went to New Hampshire with high expectations after a strong run at the one-mile oval earlier in the year.