Aric Almirola Made History at Richard Petty Motorsports

November 16, 2017

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (November 15, 2017) – This weekend, Aric Almirola will make his final start for Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM). Almirola has been the full-time driver of the No. 43 since 2012. He made five starts for the team prior to 2012.

Almirola enters the Homestead-Miami Speedway with 243 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts. Of those, 213 have been with RPM. He has the most starts for the organization that started in 2009.

The highlight of the tenure is Almirola’s win in the 2014 Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway. A storybook win, Almirola took the checkered 30 years after “The King” Richard Petty celebrated his 200th win at Daytona.

The win also brought the No. 43 back to victory lane for the first time since 1999. The trophy and a letter from Almirola to Petty about the win sit in the Petty Museum today.

The 2014 season was the second time that RPM competed in NASCAR’s playoffs. An engine failure at Chicaogland derailed the breakout season for Almirola and the team.

Almirola won his first pole with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2012 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. His success also includes 11 Top-Five and 31 Top-10 finishes for the organization.

“It’s been a great time racing for Richard Petty Motorsports,” said Almirola. “Richard and the Petty family gave me the opportunity to get into Cup racing full-time, and I appreciate that. I wish them nothing but the best.”

“Aric always did everything we asked him to do,” said Petty. “He brought the ’43’ back to Victory Lane for us, and that was just as special for me as it was for him. We really thank him for everything he has done.”

At Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona on November 12, 2017. CIA Stock Photo

Phoenix Raceway Report 11.12.17

November 14, 2017

Richard Petty Motorsports
Can-Am 500 Race Report
Phoenix Raceway

Cam-Am 500 Race Results:
1: Matt Kenseth
9: Aric Almirola, No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports scored their sixth Top-10 finish of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series during Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at the Phoenix Raceway.  Aric Almirola raced the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford from its 22nd starting position to finish ninth at the end of the 312-lap race.

Stage 2 was the key to the race.  Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer made major changes to loosen the No. 43 as Almirola battled through the first stage to a 22nd-place.  Almirola said the No. 43 Air Force Ford was really tight.  The team made wholesale changes during the stage break and Almirola launched up to 17th during the middle of Stage 2.

A Lap 149 caution ended Stage 2, just as Almirola said the car was loosing grip. He finished the stage 17th.  The final stage, Almirola moved up to 15th, showing speed to race with the leaders.  After a long run, the car fell off pace and the team decided to pit early. Soon after pitting, the caution came out, trapping the team two laps down. They waved around to get one lap back and raced into the free pass position soon after.  They were back on the Lead Lap after a Lap 251 caution.

The final 55 laps, Almirola was smart and aggressive. He moved up to 13th with 25 laps left and used the last caution to get four tires.  On the restart, Almirola raced to ninth, where he finished.

“It was a great run for us, a Top-10,” said Almirola. “It’s been a great effort to close out the season.  We had the U.S. Air Force with us all weekend, Veterans Day weekend, and it’s fitting to get them up front. I’m proud of this team and we have one more to go.  We all want to finish strong.”


Phoenix International Raceway Race Advance

November 8, 2017

U.S. Air Force Returns to the No. 43 This Weekend
Aric Almirola Proud to Have Worked with Brave Men and Women


This Saturday is Veterans Day, and Richard Petty Motorsports is proud to have the United States Air Force as its primary partner throughout the weekend. The U.S. Air Force has been a supporter of RPM since its inception in 2009. Throughout the relationship, Richard Petty Motorsports has hosted high level Generals and service men and women from all across the country at the track. More importantly, the U.S. Air Force has helped educate and recruit at the track.

Aric Almirola and Richard Petty have played a role in the recruitment process. Almirola has attended many Delayed Entry Program swear-in ceremonies for the new Air Force men and women. Each race weekend, Petty himself shakes the hands and thanks each Air Force member.

Almirola has also had success with the Air Force on the track. He won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole with the U.S. Air Force on the No. 43 in 2012 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

This weekend, Almirola heads to the Phoenix International Raceway. He has a best finish of 10th and a best start of fifth.


It’s been an honor to work with the U.S. Air Force and to help host the many Generals and guests. It’s been a humbling experience and something I’ve been really honored to do while at Richard Petty Motorsports. The men and women are fighting for our freedom, so we can race and go to the track each weekend. It’s always easy to say ‘thanks’ and meet them. It’s been rewarding for me.

“This will be my last time racing an U.S. Air Force car. We won Daytona together and that will forever be a special memory. It was my first Cup win, it came during the July 4th weekend, and to bring back the ’43’ to Victory Lane was really special. It’s cool to have that memory and have that experiences with the U.S. Air Force. It’s been a great partnership.”

aric-2018 Press Release

Almirola Will Pilot No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion Beginning in 2018

November 8, 2017

Stewart-Haas Racing Adds Aric Almirola to Driver Lineup
Almirola Will Pilot No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion Beginning in 2018

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 8, 2017) – Stewart-Haas Racing has signed Aric Almirola to join its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2018. The 33-year-old from Tampa, Florida, will drive the team’s No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion.

Almirola has won races in each of NASCAR’s top-three national touring series and is currently in his sixth full season in the premier NASCAR Cup Series. Almirola has one NASCAR Cup Series victory, three NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series triumphs.

“I’ve known Aric since 2004 and have always been impressed with him on the racetrack,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “I’ve raced with him and seen him mature into a really good racecar driver. He can compete for wins here at Stewart-Haas Racing and help our other drivers compete for wins. He’s an excellent fit for this team and for Smithfield.”

“This is the opportunity every racer wants,” Almirola said. “Stewart-Haas Racing is an experienced organization with a lot of depth, great technical support from Ford, and staffed with racers from top to bottom. They lean on each other, challenge each other and make each other better. I’m really looking forward to being a part of that.

“I’ve known Tony Stewart since our time together at Joe Gibbs Racing. I know what he expects and he knows my commitment. I can’t thank him and Smithfield enough for believing in me and providing this opportunity.”

“This is a great moment for Aric, and Smithfield is very happy to be a part of it because it’s a great opportunity for our company,” said John Pauley, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Smithfield. “Obviously, we strongly believe in Aric’s ability and that of Stewart-Haas Racing, and those abilities transcend the racetrack. They want to consistently run up front and contend for wins, but they’re also very interested in helping us win in the marketplace. This is a strong partnership with outgoing personalities who are driven to succeed.”

Almirola’s path to NASCAR started in his home state of Florida, beginning in karting in 1992 before advancing to open-wheel modifieds in 2000 and then late-model stock cars in 2002. In late 2003 at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Almirola participated in a driver combine for Joe Gibbs Racing and was ultimately selected as one of the first two drivers for Gibbs’ diversity program, which launched in 2004. Almirola became a teammate of Stewart’s, who was in his sixth year as a NASCAR Cup Series driver and only two years removed from the first of his three NASCAR Cup Series championships.

Nine wins and 11 poles during the 2004-2005 seasons of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series allowed Almirola to advance from local short tracks in the southeast to a fulltime, national schedule in the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. A handful of Xfinity Series starts also came in 2006, and Almirola’s NASCAR Cup Series debut took place on March 11, 2007 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, three days shy of his 23rd birthday.

About Smithfield Foods:

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Kretschmar®, Gwaltney®, Curly’s®, Margherita®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Krakus®, Morliny® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The organization fields four entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – the No. 4 Ford Fusion for Kevin Harvick, the No. 10 Ford Fusion for Danica Patrick, the No. 14 Ford Fusion for Clint Bowyer and the No. 41 Ford Fusion for Kurt Busch. The team also competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by fielding a full time entry – the No. 00 Ford Mustang for Cole Custer – and one part-time entry – the No. 41 Ford Mustang. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 200,000-square-foot facility with nearly 370 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at, on Facebook at, on Twitter  @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram  @StewartHaasRacing.

Texas Motor Speedway

Texas Motor Speedway Race Report 11.5.17

November 6, 2017

Richard Petty Motorsports
AAA Texas 500 Race Report
Texas Motor Speedway

AAA Texas 500 Race Results:
1: Kevin Harvick
15: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports left the great state of Texas with a Top-15 finish after Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team scored their best finish since 2014 at the Ft. Worth oval.

After making chassis adjustments early in the race, the team was fast throughout the day. Almirola started 18th and was 25th before the team’s first pit stop. After the stop for adjustments, Almirola was able to move up to 21st to end Stage 1. The team did fall one lap down, but took the “wave around” to get back on the Lead Lap to start Stage 2.

The team needed a caution to cycle back with the leaders. That caution came on the restart, and Almirola was back racing hard in the 17th position. The Smithfield Ford showed speed and Almirola climbed to 15th throughout Stage 2. The team fell one lap down and just missed being the “Lucky Dog” on the last lap of the stage, finishing 16th.

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer once again called for a wave around to get back on the Lead Lap to start the final stage. On Lap 179, an accident allowed the Smithfield team to once again pit with the leaders. During the stop, the team had to change the steering wheel after the electronics that controlled the track bar malfunctioned. The team made the switch and later secured the wiring to fix the issue.

Almirola fell back to 21st, but two cautions allowed Almirola to eventually take one last wave around and to restart 16th with 50 laps left. Almirola raced back to 15th, but was just too tight to pass for the 14th spot in the final laps.

“It was a long race, but the Smithfield crew worked hard,” said Almirola. “I appreciate the effort and keeping our car pretty fast all day. We had to change the steering wheel to fix the track bar, and that lost us some ground, but we rebounded. We now have two more races left to keep finishing strong.”

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