Kansas Race Advance
Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
● Event: Buschy McBusch Race 400 (Round 11 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday May 2
● Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City
● Layout: 1.5-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 267 laps/400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 107 laps
● TV/Radio: FS1 / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● History at Kansas: In 18 starts, Almirola has seven top-10 finishes and has led 69 laps. Last year, Almirola finished sixth and 13th in the July and October races at Kansas, respectively.
● Last weekend at Talladega, Almirola raced toward the front until a vibration led to multiple pit stops to troubleshoot the issue. It was discovered the vibration was an aerodynamic one caused by a chip in the splitter. Almirola recovered to lead 16 laps in the final stage before securing a 15th-place finish.
● In Almirola’s last 10 starts at 1.5-mile tracks, he has earned four top-10 finishes, one top-five and has led 164 laps.
● Career Stats: Almirola has career totals of two wins, two poles, 24 top-five finishes, 80 top-10s and 858 laps led in 363 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 26th in the championship standings with 159 points, 287 behind leader Denny Hamlin. Almirola is 70 points behind 16th-place Chris Buescher for the final playoff spot. He moved seven points closer to the playoff cutoff line after his 15th place finish at Talladega.
Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
What is it going to take to break through with a chance to win at the 1.5-mile tracks?
“We just have to be more racey. We’ve got to be more competitive. I’ve got to be more on offense and less on defense. I feel like our mile-and-a-half program has been off and, because of that, every restart you’re just playing major defense. It’s hard to play offense because the car may not be driving good and doesn’t have a lot of speed in the car and it’s a handful and not as fast as the cars around you. So you’re just playing a lot of defense and, when we’ve been at our best, that’s not been the case. You fire off on every restart and you’re on offense. You’re picking and choosing lanes and putting your car in places where you need it to go to make passes, not to try and block a run or try and play defense. So, that’s one of the things that I hope to see when we get to Kansas, that we’ve made improvements with our cars, that we’ve got speed in it, and not only speed but drivability, and that we’ve got grip in the car to where we can take off and move around the racetrack and hold the throttle down. On these 550 (horsepower) packages on the mile-and-a-half tracks, it is so important to hold the throttle down. Any time you spend off-throttle is detrimental, especially to the competition.”
What are your thoughts when you head to Kansas?
“I’ve always enjoyed Kansas. I know that I did have a really bad accident there, but in my mind I just view that as a bad accident. It just happened at a place. It just so happened to be at Kansas. It could have happened anywhere. I don’t really put that on Kansas and so, every time I’ve been back since then, it’s never really been a thought that’s crossed my mind. I actually enjoy going to Kansas. I have friends in Kansas City who I enjoy spending time with that makes it even more enjoyable to be there and, on top of that, I love the racetrack. The racetrack is a really fun racetrack to run at for me and I’ve had a lot of success there and had a lot of really good runs there.”