“Talladega is going to be completely chaotic this week. People are going to have no choice but to be aggressive, whether drivers are in The Chase or not. You want to play offense as much as possible, but you get yourself in positions sometimes where other people are playing offense too.
Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield/Waffle House team started the Bank of America 500 night race from the 15th spot. They moved up early, but as rubber laid down on the track, the car struggled handling in the corners. Almirola crossed the finishline 22nd, two laps down.
In the last three races at 1.5-mile race tracks, the No. 43 team has raced in the Top-Five and Top-10 but engine issues marred two of the starts resulting in just one Top-10 finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Earlier this season, Aric Almirola scored his best Sprint Cup Series finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway when he brought the No. 43 home in the 11th spot.
Aric Almirola qualified the No. 43 Farmland Ford in the third spot and competed in the Top-10 before a tire going down in the first 75 laps forced the team to work back into the Top-10. Unfortunately, the team lost a cylinder in the engine and logged laps to finish 31st, six laps down.
Despite failing to advance to the Contender Round, Aric Almirola and the No. 43 team still have a chance to fight for points positions as high as fifth. Re-energized and focused after last weekend, the team heads to one of their best tracks, Kansas Speedway.