No. 10 Smithfield/Whataburger Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
● Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 28 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 10
● 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: 85 laps / Final Stage: 102 laps
● TV/Radio: USA / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● History at Kansas: In 22 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Almirola has seven top-10 finishes and has led 69 laps. He finished 13th at Kansas earlier this year.
● Driver Standings: Almirola arrives at Kansas 23rd in the driver standings.
● Almirola’s career: In 451 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 93 top-10s, five poles, and has led 1,068 laps.
● Last weekend at Darlington, Almirola ran in and around the top-10 for the majority of the race. A multicar stack-up during the Stage 2 restart caused unrepairable nose damage to his racecar, causing poor handling conditions for the remainder of the race. He finished 14th.
● Whataburger Appearance: At 2 PM CDT, on Saturday Sept. 9, Almirola will appear for a 15-minute Q&A followed by a 15-minute autograph session at the Whataburger location at 10780 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, KS 66109 – just across the street from Kansas Speedway.
● 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.
● Whataburger is the hometown hamburger place that hasn’t compromised. Whataburger serves bold flavors and original recipes made to order, just like customers like it, and prides itself on extraordinary hospitality and meaningful connections in the communities. That’s what’s led fans to Whataburger since Harmon Dobson served its first customer in 1950. Headquartered in San Antonio, Whataburger stayed close to its roots while building sales of more than $3 billion annually across its 14-state footprint and more than 930 locations.
● 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/Whataburger Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Your 13th-place finish in the May race at Kansas is your best intermediate-track finish this year. Why is that?
“You know there’s something about Kansas that I have always enjoyed and brought a lot of confidence at. It’s statistically one of my best intermediate tracks and we always seem to find ourselves with speed even though the results don’t always show it. It will be great to improve on our top-15 finish earlier this year because we still have Texas and Miami coming up to work off of.”
Do you feel like you made a statement as a team after your solid run at Darlington?
“Absolutely. I know we finished 14th, but that was with damage to the nose and splitter we couldn’t fix. All of our cars showed speed. Kevin (Harvick) had one of the fastest cars up there in clean air, too, and Chase (Briscoe) ran around the top-10, too. Our organization hit on something and I think you’re going to see more of that for the rest of the season.”
What are your thoughts about racing at 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.”