No. 10 Smithfield/IHOP Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
● Event: Bass Pro Shops Night Race (Round 29 of 36)
● Time/Date: 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Sept. 16
● Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
● Layout: .533-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 500 laps / 266.5 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 85 laps / Stage 2: 85 laps / Final Stage: 130 laps
● TV/Radio: USA / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● History at Bristol: In 25 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol, Almirola has two top-five finishes, four top-10s, one pole, and has led 39 laps. Almirola earned his pole at Bristol last September. He led 36 laps until a steering issue relegated him to a 28th-place finish.
● Driver Standings: Almirola arrives at Bristol 23rd in the driver standings.
● Almirola’s career: In 452 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 93 top-10s, five poles, and has led 1,074 laps.
● Last weekend at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Almirola led three laps and ran in and around the top-10. Difficult handling conditions relegated the No. 10 Ford to a 17th-place finish.
● Smithfield has been a sponsor of Almirola’s for the entirety of his fulltime NASCAR Cup Series career – making it one of the longest-lasting partnerships in NASCAR. Smithfield is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Its 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” Smithfield is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. The company has pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including its industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across its entire U.S. value chain by 2030. Smithfield believes in the power of protein to end food insecurity and has donated hundreds of millions of food servings to local communities.
● IHOP joins Smithfield this weekend as a sponsor on the No. 10 Ford Mustang for the first of three more races this season. Whenever IHOP is featured on the No. 10 Ford Mustang you’ll get a chance to win “PanCoins.” Watch for the three races they’ll be featured in and when the winning driver does a pancake, IHOP loyalty members will receive a free PanCoin, which is redeemable for free pancakes. Since 1958, IHOP has been the place where people connect over breakfast, enjoy study breaks, grab a bite before or after sporting events, and so much more. And no matter what menu items they order, there’s one ingredient that’s always constant – a smile. IHOP has seen millions of smiles over the years in its restaurants, and they’re now shared in photos across the company’s social media properties. In fact, smiles are so much a part of IHOP’s culture that it changed its logo to include one.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series: In 2023, Almirola is continuing to share his life beyond the No. 10 Ford with season five of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. Episodes have already featured life as a dad, a husband and an athlete, and the show gives fans a unique perspective on what goes on in the life of a professional NASCAR driver. Fans can also follow Almirola’s social media channels: @Aric_Almirola on Twitter and Instagram, and @AricAlmirola on Facebook.
Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield/IHOP Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You won the pole last year and led the first 36 laps. What are your projections for this weekend?
“We always come to Bristol with the expectation to run well. Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and the guys brought an awesome car last year. We weren’t in the playoffs then, either, and had likely the fastest car in the field. We took off in the opening laps until a steering issue ruined the day. Another non-playoff driver went on to win that race I believe, too, so I think the sky is the limit this weekend at Bristol again. We know we can bring fast cars so I don’t see why we can’t put ourselves in position for another win.”
You’re back on the concrete surface. Does that excite you?
“Absolutely. The original Bristol is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. I know the dirt race puts on a good show for the fans, but there is nothing like Saturday-night short-track racing under the lights. You’re beating and banging the entire time and just always on edge. I’ve been looking forward to Bristol all year and our short-track program has been good this year. I hope we’ll have a shot at adding another non-playoff driver win to the scoreboard this weekend.”