No. 10 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
● Event: Highpoint.com 400 (Round 21 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 23
● Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway
● Layout: 2.5-mile triangle
● Laps/Miles: 160 laps/400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stages 1: 30 laps / Stage 2: 65 laps / Final Stage: 65 laps
● TV/Radio: USA / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● History at Pocono: Aric Almirola will make his 21st NASCAR Cup Series start at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway this weekend. He has four top-10s, two top-fives and 67 laps led at the 2.5-mile triangle. His best results came during the 2020 doubleheader weekend, when he earned finishes of third and fifth in the Saturday and Sunday races, respectively.
● Almirola has one start at the “Tricky Triangle” in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, which came in June 2016 and resulted in an 11th-place finish. He’s also made one start in the NASCAR Truck Series in July 2010 and earned a fourth-place finish.
● Last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Almirola ran inside the top-five and led four laps to bring his laps-led total at the mile oval to 85. He was leading on lap 169 when a loose right-rear wheel came off his racecar and sent him into the turn two wall, ending his day.
● While Almirola is seeking a victory in the NASCAR Cup Series to catapult him into the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs, the 39-year-old veteran raced his way to victory lane June 10 in the Xfinity Series race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.
● Driver Points: Almirola arrives at New Hampshire 27th in the driver standings, 340 points out of first.
● Almirola’s career: In 444 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 92 top-10s, five poles, and has led 1,068 laps.
● The No. 10 Ford Mustang will sport a new Ford Motor Company livery this weekend at Pocono. Almirola has been a Ford driver for the entirety of his 12-year fulltime Cup Series career. Ford is one of the most successful global racing programs and is the only car manufacturer to win the world’s most prestigious races, including the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Rolex 24 at Daytona, the NHRA’s U.S. Nationals, the Baja 1000, Rally Great Britain, the Bathurst 1,000, and even the Rallycross competition at the X Games. Ford has 722 all-time wins in the NASCAR Cup Series by 88 different drivers, including all three of Almirola’s career victories. Additionally, Ford has won 10 Cup series championships and 17 manufacturer titles.
● 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 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What is your best memory of Pocono over the years?
“My best memory of Pocono would be that doubleheader weekend we had in 2020 during the pandemic. I ran really well and led a lot of laps. We finished third in the first race, then we had to invert the field, which put me in the middle of the pack, and we ran really well that next race. It was my best weekend at Pocono. That weekend, I was like, ‘Yes I finally figured out Pocono.’”
What makes the “Tricky Triangle” so tricky?
“It is just the fact that the corners are all so different. You go into turn one and it’s a high-speed and high-banked corner. Then in turn two, it’s really high-speed, flat and quick 90-degree corner, and then turn three is a long, slow, sweeping corner. Trying to hit all of your marks and consistently hit all your corners perfectly is hard to do lap after lap. Then, for the engineers and crew chief, to set the car up for three different corners is such a challenge.”
You had a shot to win last weekend at New Hampshire. Is it encouraging to know your No. 10 team can bring cars capable of winning?
“It’s certainly encouraging, but at the same time so frustrating. We deserve better as a race team. We have had multiple races this year where we had bad luck from the lead. You have to have a short-term memory here in this sport and just move on, but it’s so frustrating knowing we should be locked into the playoffs and contending for more wins. We know what we have to do heading to the next few races. I know we can do it. I just hope this bad luck runs out at some point. It has to.”