NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series
Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY USA
Saturday 5 August 2017

World Copyright: Susan DeVault

Michigan International Speedway 9.13.17

August 10, 2017

Almirola Ready for High Speeds at Michigan
No. 43 Smithfield Team Looks for Good Showing in Ford Performance’s Backyard


The No. 43 Smithfield Ford team raced the fast speeds at Michigan International Speedway just eight weeks ago with interim driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. in the car. The team will utilize notes from that race to bring Aric Almirola the best setup for his first start this season at the two-mile track. Almirola, fully recovered from his injury, is ready to tackle the fastest track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

Almirola found success at Michigan with a win in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010. Since then, he’s made 10 Monster Energy Series starts where he scored a fourth-place starting spot in 2014 and a best finish of 14th in 2015. He also has three XFINITY Series starts under his belt with a best finish of eighth in 2015.


MIS Fans will have the opportunity to see Almirola before the Pure Michigan 400 at the Ford Performance display. He will participate in a question and answer session on stage before belting into the No. 43 Smithfield Ford.

When: Sunday, August 13, 11:15 – 11:30 a.m.

Where: Ford display in the Fanzone



“When I think of Michigan, there is only one word that comes to mind: speed. We go so fast at Michigan. This will be my first stop at Michigan this year, so I’ll lean on Drew (Blickensderfer) and the team to bring good notes from June. Hopefully, we’ll roll off the truck with a good setup and have a good run on Sunday. I really like Michigan. Not just because I got a win here in the truck, but also because my wife’s family is from here and it’s in Ford’s backyard. That makes it extra special when you run well here.”


NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series
Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY USA
Friday 4 August 2017

World Copyright: Susan DeVault

Watkins Glen Race Report 8.6.17

August 7, 2017

Richard Petty Motorsports
I LOVE NEW YORK 355 at the Glen Race Report
Watkins Glen International

I LOVE NEW YORK 355 at the Glen Results:
1: Martin Truex Jr.
21: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford
Aric Almirola started 29th in his first road course start this season. Struggling with a loose car in qualifying earlier in the day, the team started really loose but utilized the caution at the end of the first stage to work on adjustments on the No. 43 Smithfield Ford. Almirola gave up the 18th spot at the end of Stage One and pit for a four-tire stop and big chassis changes.

Because most teams elected to pit before the stage break, Almirola had the 32nd starting spot for Stage Two. But, the changes proved fruitful, and he worked the No. 43 Smithfield Ford back to the 29th spot in one lap and started to move forward. Pit and fuel strategy proved to be the storyline of the day. Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer chose to stay on track through the second stage. Almirola held the 15th spot at the end of Stage Two and again stayed on track. Blickensderfer radioed that the team was about 14 laps from being able to make it to the end of fuel, so they stayed out.

The No. 43 Smithfield Ford restarted 13th. Almirola raced three-wide on Lap 46 and lost momentum and positions before getting back in line. Knowing they would pit soon and other teams had fresher tires, he didn’t push the issue. As the team readied for their final stop under green-flag conditions, NASCAR Officials called the caution for debris on Lap 53. Blickensderfer called Almirola down pit road during the caution, and the No. 43 Smithfield team made a four-tire stop with an air pressure adjustment. The stop was slowed when the 77 car left its pit box, and the crew had to wait to run to the right side of the car.

Almirola restarted in the 27th spot with 36 laps to go. He radioed the car was better in most of the corners but still loose in the esses. On fuel strategy, the team raced up to 24th when some cars started to pit for fuel. The race went green until the end, and the No. 43 picked up three more spots due to fuel strategy to finish 21st.

“We were just so loose all weekend,” said Almirola. “Drew made a good call on adjustments at the end of Stage One. There weren’t very many cautions, so everyone was on a few different strategies. That didn’t give us a lot of options to use pit strategy to get track position. We were good on fuel the final run, but the cars around us did a good job saving. We’ll take 21st and get back focused on racing ovals.”


Watkins Glen Race Advance 8.6.17

August 4, 2017

Almirola Makes First Road Course Start of 2017
Looks to Top Career-Best Road Course Finish of 14th in No. 43 Smithfield Ford


Missing the race at Sonoma Raceway due to injury, Aric Almirola makes his first and only road course start this season at Watkins Glen International (WGI). His favorite of the two road course races, he looks to top his best road course finish of 14th which he posted in 2015 at Sonoma Raceway. The No. 43 Smithfield team will utilize notes from last year as well as from Sonoma last June to get a good start for the weekend. Almirola will tap into the knowledge he got from past teammate and WGI winner Marcos Ambrose.

Almirola has six Monster Energy Series and one XFINITY Series start at Watkins Glen International. He posted his best Monster Energy Series start of 15th in 2008 and finish of 16th in 2015. In his lone XFINITY start at the road course, he started 17th and finished eighth. Earlier this season, IMSA Ford driver Billy Johnson filled in for the injured Almirola at Sonoma Raceway. He piloted the No. 43 Smithfield Ford from a 26th-place start to a 22nd-place finish.


“I like Watkins Glen. It’s definitely my favorite road course on the schedule. It’s much harder to pass at Sonoma. I learned a lot from Marcos (Ambrose) while he was a teammate and feel I can use that to my advantage this weekend. This will be my first road course race of the season, so it will be interesting to see how things have changed since last year. We’re definitely looking for redemption from last weekend’s accident on the first lap and hopefully will get another solid finish.”



Pocono Raceway

Pocono Race Report 7.30.17

July 31, 2017

Richard Petty Motorsports
Pocono 400 Race Report
Pocono Raceway

Pocono 400 Race Results:
1: Kyle Busch
40: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford

Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team were involved in a Lap One accident during Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at the Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.  The multi-car accident occurred in front of Almirola, causing severe damage to the front of the No. 43.  The accident ended the day for the Smithfield team.

“I didn’t see what happened,” said Almirola. “We had passed a bunch of cars on the start, but got into Turn Three and a big wreck happened in front of us.  I had no place to go.  It’s just heartbreaking for everyone to have our day end so early.”

At Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia on April 29, 2016. CIA Stock Photo

Pocono Raceway Race Advance 7.30.17

July 27, 2017

Almirola Looks to Conquer “Tricky Triangle” This WeekendNo. 43 Smithfield Ford Team Hopes to Build on Gains They Made in June Race

Weekend Statistics and Notes

Hot off a Top-15 finish in the Brickyard 400, Aric Almirola looks for a strong run at the famed “Tricky Triangle” after missing the first race at the track this season due to injury. Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. filled in for the injured Almirola in the June race, where he started 16th and scored a 26th-place finish. The No. 43 Smithfield crew made strides in the car’s handling and look to build off what they learned in June to bring Almirola a fast car this weekend.

Almirola made 10 starts at Pocono Raceway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series with a best start of 10th (2013) and a best finish of 18th. Almirola scored an 11th-place finish in his lone XFINITY Series start at the “Tricky Triangle” in 2016 and finished fourth in his one Camping World Truck Series start in 2010.

Weekend Chatter

“Pocono is definitely tricky. It’s one of the more difficult tracks on the circuit to get a good feel in the car. We’ve struggled in the past to find a setup that works well in all three turns. I missed the race earlier this year, but the team seemed to make good adjustments during the race to make the Smithfield Ford better. We’ll look to build on that this weekend and work to get a good finish.”

  • Print
    Paralyzed Veterans of America
    Fresh From Florida