Circuit of the Americas Advance
No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
● Event: EchoPark Texas Grand Prix (Round 14 of 36)|
● Time/Date: 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday May 23
● Location: Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas
● Layout: 3.41-mile road course
● Laps/Miles: 68 laps/231 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 15 laps / Stage 2: 17 laps / Final Stage: 36 laps
● TV/Radio: FS1 / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● Road-Course History: Almirola has 23 road-course starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. He has two top-10 finishes at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway with a best finish of eighth, four top-20s at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International with a best finish of 12th, three top-20s at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval with a best finish of 14th, and a top-12 finish in the Feb. 9 Busch Clash on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course.
● Circuit of the Americas (COTA) will utilize the full 3.41-mile 20-turn road-course layout for this weekend’s Cup Series event. The 3.41-mile “long course” is the same counter-clockwise layout used for the Formula One United States Grand Prix since 2012. This will mark the first time NASCAR has hosted an event at COTA. Almirola has visited COTA once to test and familiarize himself with the long, technical circuit.
● Last weekend at Dover, Almirola raced inside the top-10 before a cut tire sent him into the outside wall and damaging the No. 10 Ford beyond repair.
● Career Stats: Almirola has career totals of two wins, two poles, 24 top-five finishes, 80 top-10s and 842 laps led in 365 NASCAR Cup Series starts.
● Smithfield Foods celebrates 10 years of partnership with Almirola this season with a special campaign called Taste Victory.As one of the most active partners in NASCAR, Smithfield plans to engage fans all year long by hosting a microsite that provides the opportunity to win when Almirola wins or finishes inside the top-10. When Almirola wins, one fan wins $10,000, and 10 fans win a gift card for each top-10 finish. The microsite also doubles as an Aric Almirola fan page and entertainment source where fans can get behind the wheel of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with a custom racing game, and learn more about Almirola with fast facts, favorite recipes and custom content about his life on and off the track. Visit www.tastevictory.com to learn more. Thanks to Almirola’s Feb. 11 win in his Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500, one lucky fan has already won $10,000.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series:In 2021, Almirola continues to share his life beyond the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with season three 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 it 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.
● The Smithfield Ford team sits 28th in the championship standings with 169 points, 405 behind leader Denny Hamlin.
Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
How do you feel about your road-course program this year?
“Personally, I feel that I have improved in my road-course abilities over the years. In the Busch Clash and the Daytona road-course race in February, I was much more confident behind the wheel and found more speed than 2020. I think our Smithfield Ford team has found more speed in the car, too, with the 750-horsepower package. Circuit of the Americas is going to be a completely different challenge for everyone, but we’re going into the weekend with more road-course confidence than years prior.”
What are your thoughts on having practice and qualifying back this weekend?
“Finally. We need it at COTA, but we need it even more to hopefully find speed early and qualify better than we would with the current qualifying model. It’s so tough when you’re not high in the points standings. Even if you finish well the weekend before, you still don’t get to start in the top-15. I’m looking forward to a three-day show and getting more familiar with the course.”