No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
● Event: Cook Out 400 (Round 23 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 30
● Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway
● Layout: .75-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 400 laps/300 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 70 laps / Stage 2: 160 laps / Final Stage: 170 laps
● TV/Radio: USA / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● History at Richmond: In 22 starts, Aric Almirola has earned eight top-10 finishes and two top-fives on the .75-mile Richmond (Va.) Raceway oval. He’s qualified inside the top-10 in four of his last six appearances there with a best start of sixth in the September 2018 race. Almirola’s best Richmond finish of fifth came in September 2018, his first year driving for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). In this year’s first Richmond event April 2, he ran in and around the top-10 throughout the race and earned a 13th-place finish.
● The 39-year-old veteran also has five starts at Richmond in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a best finish of seventh in the September 2011 race.
● Last weekend at Pocono Raceway, Almirola battled his way from 27th to earn a solid 12th-place finish.
● While Almirola is seeking a victory in the NASCAR Cup Series to catapult him into the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs, he raced his way to victory lane June 10 in the Xfinity Series race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.
● Driver Points: Almirola arrives at Richmond 25th in the driver standings, 359 points out of first.
● Almirola’s career: In 445 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 92 top-10s, five poles, and has led 1,068 laps.
● 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.
● 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 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You have had a lot of good runs at Richmond. Why is it a track you seem to always enjoy?
“Richmond is certainly one that that I have circled as an opportunity. It is statistically my best racetrack and, mentally, I would say it’s my best racetrack. It’s just a place I love going to. It fits my driving style, it fits our cars here at Stewart-Haas Racing, and there’s always that added bonus of running good in front of your sponsors with Smithfield headquarters being in Smithfield, Virginia, about an hour away from Richmond. We typically have a lot of employees and their families at the racetrack, so it’s always gratifying to run good and in front of those folks. Richmond is just a really unique and cool, fun racetrack the way that the tires fall off in the groove and you can move around throughout the course of a race.”
You’re in a must-win situation to enter the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Where does Richmond rank in opportunities to win?
“If I could pick one out of the next handful of races to win, I will pick Richmond, hands down. That is the racetrack that I have excelled at the most and have not gone to victory lane, so I would love to do that in front of all of the Smithfield employees and their families.”