At Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama on May 6, 2017. CIA Stock Photo

Talladega Superspeedway Xfinity 5.6.17

May 8, 2017

Richard Petty Motorsports
Talladega 300 Race Report
Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega 300 Results:
1: Aric Almirola, No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford

Aric Almirola showed speed and driving prowess in the XFINITY race today at Talladega Superspeedway in the Biagi DenBeste Racing No. 98 Fresh From Florida. Almirola started 23rd and in just the first lap, drove into the 16th spot. The middle lane was fruitful for the No. 98 Mustang, and Almirola was able to hold his position with little help. He held the 14th spot for the first caution for fluid on the track. The field went green on Lap 12, and Almirola used the next eight laps to wheel his way to the lead. He held the lead when a nine-car wreck brought out the caution and a red flag. Almirola restarted in the lead and was able to hold off the field for the next three laps to get the Stage 1 win.

The team elected to pit for four tires and restarted 22nd as some of the field pit on the earlier caution. Again showing speed, Almirola quickly moved up to the 11th spot one lap after the restart. Just one lap later, he raced into the Top 10 where he raced for the remainder of the second stage. Again finding speed in the middle lane, he raced into fourth and held the spot at the end of the stage.

Changing four tires during the pit stop, Almirola restarted sixth on Lap 55. He quickly drove into the Top Three and had the No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford in the lead by Lap 60. He got stuck in the middle lane with no help and fell back into the pack, but by the time the field crossed the start/finishline, he was in the fifth spot. The field settled to single file until Lap 71 when teams started green-flag pit stops. One of two in the front pack that didn’t pit, the No. 98 team elected to pit the following lap with the No. 20 car. Half the field didn’t pit, so Almirola raced in the 19th spot until Lap 92 when the other half of the field pit under green.

Debris on the frontstretch brought out the caution on Lap 99 with the Fresh From Florida Ford in 11th. The team pit for four tires and fuel to better position them for the win. They restarted 11th, and Almirola teamed up with fellow Ford Performance teammate Joey Logano. The duo worked the field and, in three laps, were in the Top Five. Almirola positioned himself to take the lead on Lap 110 and held off Logano and Elliott Sadler to win. This marks his third win in the XFINITY Series and second win with Biagi DenBeste Racing.

“It means so much,” said Almirola. “First, I want to thank God. And then I want to thank Fresh from Florida, and everybody at this Biagi DenBeste race team. They let me run this thing seven or eight times a year, and I have so much fun, especially at the speedway races. Doug Yates brings some awesome horsepower, and our Ford Mustang was super-fast. I knew it right from the beginning of practice. We ran about 10 laps in practice and I said, ‘Put it on jack stands. We’re ready to go. This thing is fast.’ What an awesome day. I feel really bad about the 16. I got in the back of the 16 and tore up a lot of cars there, but I got a good push, and I got in the back of him. I was trying to help him, trying to make the Fords work together and I hooked him, so I feel sorry about that. But, an awesome job. I told the kids we were gonna get soaking wet again. They’ve talked about Daytona for a year, and it’s just awesome to get this Fresh from Florida Ford Mustang into Victory Lane, so we’ll drink down a cold glass of orange juice and get ready to qualify.”

Talladega-adv

Talladega Superspeedway Race Advance 5.7.17

May 4, 2017

Almirola has Momentum and Past Success on His Side at Talladega
Looks to Run up Front in No. 43 Fresh From Florida Ford

WEEKEND STATISTICS AND NOTES

Fresh off a ninth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway, Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Fresh From Florida Ford team look to draft on that momentum heading to Talladega Superspeedway. The team finished fourth in the Daytona 500, the last superspeedway race this season, and is optimistic in their chances at the 2.66-mile track this weekend.

Almirola will run double duty this weekend with sponsor Fresh From Florida. Saturday, he will compete in the Biagi DenBeste Racing No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford. He’s finished 10th in the last three XFINITY races he competed in at Talladega, including last spring with the Biagi DenBeste Racing team. He also scored a win in the No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang last summer at Daytona International Speedway. He looks to get in the mix on Saturday and drive to Victory Lane.

Almirola not only has proven success at superspeedways in the XFINITY Series but also the Monster Energy Series as well. He scored his first Monster Energy Series win at Daytona International Speedway in July 2014. He made 14 starts at Talladega Superspeedway and scored two Top-10 finishes. Last fall, he scored his best finish of eighth.

APPEARANCES

Almirola will stop by the Monster Energy stage in the Fanzone leading into the GEICO 400.

When: Sunday, May 7, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Talladega Superspeedway Fanzone

ALMIROLA WEEKEND CHATTER

“Talladega can definitely be a crap shoot. You want to run up front all day, but at the same time, you have to make sure you are at the right place at the right time in order to miss any of the ‘Big Ones’. We had a great day there last fall and a really good finish this year at the Daytona 500. We have a great engine program with Roush Yates Engines, and the guys at the shop have built good superspeedway cars. I’m excited to get out there on Sunday and work to be in position to make a run for the win at the end.

“We’ve got Fresh From Florida on the car for both of the Monster Energy and XFINITY Series races this weekend. It’s always fun to have them on the car. Being Fresh From Florida myself, I love having an abundance of Florida products around the race track.”

Richmond International Raceway

Richmond International Raceway 4.30.17

May 1, 2017

Richard Petty Motorsports
Richmond 400 Race Report
Richmond (Va.) International Raceway

Richmond 400 Results:
1: Joey Logano
9: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford
Aric Almirola led Richard Petty Motorsports and the famed No. 43 Smithfield Ford to its second Top-10 finish of the 2017 season Sunday afternoon. A fast car all afternoon, the team overcame a debatable late-race penalty to charge from 22nd to ninth in the final 50 laps. The finish is the second Top-10 in the first nine races of the season.

Beginning the race in 25th, Almirola stormed to the front in the first Stage of the race. On new tires, Almirola had a great line coming off the turns that made his car one of the best on the track. Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer communicated the progress to Almirola who only struggled late in the run on old tires. Almirola first cracked into the Top 10 near the end of the first Stage but finished 12th after the first 100 laps.
Stage 2 presented more of a challenge for the No.43 Smithfield team. The stage raced without one caution and on older tires the car would not turn. Almirola fell back to 18th where he finished at the end of Stage 2.
The second half of the race, the team quickly bounced back on fresh tires. The Smithfield Ford was 13th at Lap 250 and stayed in the Top 15 through Lap 300. The final 100 laps were the best of the season for the team. After a pit stop, Almirola  was called for a commitment line violation. The penalty was to pass through the pits during green. The team fell one lap down and back to 25th. But, with 70 laps left, a quick caution allowed the team to take the wave around to get their lap back and focus on getting back into the Top 15.
Almirola, racing his best of the day, drove the No. 43 Smithfield Ford from 25th to 12th in only 20 laps. The final 50 laps, multiple cautions waved, and each time the pit crew pulled off fast, perfect pit stops to give Almirola four fresh tires. On the new tires, Almirola was able to pick off positions and race to ninth at the end.
The finish keeps Almirola 19th in points and close to the playoffs.
“There are a lot of gains from last year to this year,” said Almirola. “We have two Top-10 finishes on two different styles of tracks. We just need to gain a little more, but we feel that we can just keep getting stronger. Drew and the guys did a great job with our car today and we just kept fighting. The track didn’t have a lot of grip, so we really needed those tires. It helped us out and made a difference. I’m proud of the team and to have this run for Smithfield at their home track.”

At Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky on July, 9, 2016. CIA Stock Photo

Richmond International Raceway 4.30.17

April 28, 2017

Almirola and Team Head to Smithfield’s Home Track This Weekend
Team Eyes Top-10 Finish

WEEKEND STATISTICS AND NOTES

A track where the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team found success in the past, Aric Almirola and his team look to  turn the season around at Richmond International Raceway. Last weekend, they battled the short track at Bristol and on-track contact relegated the team to a 22nd-place finish. This weekend, they look to finish up front and move back up in the Championship Point Standings. They are currently 19th.

Almirola has 10 Monster Energy starts at the Virginia short track. He scored his best finish of fourth when he contended for the lead and a spot in the Chase in 2015. With a best start of 11th, he scored three Top-10 finishes at the track.

APPEARANCES

Prior to the Monster Energy Series race, Almirola and Richard Petty will judge the Smithfield Grill Master Challenge. The 2017 competition will feature three fans as competitors who will be chosen at random. They will be given 90 minutes to prepare their own signature dish featuring Smithfield products. Almirola and Petty will judge the plates based on originality and creativity; oral presentation and visual appearance. The chef of the winning plate will receive a “King” prize pack.

When: Sunday, April 30, 11:15 a.m.
Where: Smithfield Display in the Fanzone

Fans can see both Almirola and Petty at the Monster Energy stage in the Fanzone.
When: Sunday, April 30, 10:55 a.m.
Where: Monster Energy Display in the Fanzone

Almirola will make a stop at the Ford Performance Display for a Q&A.
When: Sunday, April 30, 10:35 a.m.
Where: Ford Performance Display in the Fanzone

ALMIROLA WEEKEND CHATTER

“Our team has been working really hard, but the results haven’t reflected the work we put into our cars. We’ve made small gains each week and keep working to improve our cars one step at a time. We’ve had some good runs at Richmond and it’s Smithfield’s backyard, so hopefully, we can turn our season around this weekend. We’re going to keep our heads up and focused on improvement, and we will get there.”

 

 

Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol Motor Speedway Race Report 4.23.17

April 25, 2017

Richard Petty Motorsports
Food City 500 Race Report
Bristol Motor Speedway

Food City 500 Results:
1: Jimmie Johnson
22: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford
Rain hindered much of the weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway and postponed the Food City 500 to Monday afternoon. The field was set by the rulebook due to the rain, and Aric Almirola started 18th in the No. 43 Smithfield Ford. Kyle Larson set a fast pace early in the race and began lapping the field early in the 500-lap race. Almirola fell a lap down before the first caution on Lap 55 and took the Wavearound to restart on the lead lap in the 27th spot. The No. 43 Smithfield Ford was tight early and struggled to find grip. The strategy to stay out and get the Wavearound had the team in 26th at the end of Stage 1.

A heat cycle on the tires caused by the Red Flag on Lap 68 made the No. 43 Smithfield Ford even harder to drive. Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer called for four tires and chassis and air pressure adjustments. Almirola restarted 27th, one lap down to the leaders. An incident on track with the No. 18 brought out the caution on Lap 211 with the No. 43 in the 26th spot, two laps down. Using the same strategy from the first Stage, the team stayed out and got a lap back to restart in the Lucky Dog spot, one lap down. The field restarted, and quickly, the No. 88 had an issue that brought out the caution and earned Almirola a spot on the lead lap. The team pit and made an air pressure adjustment to help the Ford Fusion turn better in the corner.

With over half the race remaining, they were back on the lead lap and in a good position to make a run for a good finish. Unfortunately, a lap-down car got into the No. 43 Smithfield Ford and caused a tire rub. Almirola was forced to pit under green and lost multiple laps, putting the team behind with just over half the race to go. The end of Stage 2 allowed the team to make another pit stop to continue to work on the sheet metal in the left, rear and make more adjustments to help the car’s handling. This uphill battle proved difficult for the team. They only had one option to take the Wavearound to get a lap back throughout the second half of the race. They continued to fight and work on the handling of the car to finish 22nd.

“We had a tough day today at Bristol, like a lot of teams,” said Almirola. “We struggled all weekend to get good turn in the corner, and the car rode really rough over the track. We got it better for the race and battled from two laps down early to get back on the lead lap. Unfortunately, another car got into us and caused us to pit under green for a tire rub. The rest of the race didn’t fall our way, and we couldn’t make up the laps we lost. We’ll keep fighting the good fight every week and look to get a good finish in Richmond next weekend.”

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