Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 10/15/14
Daytona_500_practice_0b81
  The crossed flags have been displayed on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, and Aric Almirola is eager to begin the second half. With 18 races now under his belt in his first full-time Cup season, the driver of the No. 43 Medallion Financial Ford heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) this week feeling comfortable and confident. The No. 43 team is coming off a strong run at Daytona International Speedway, where Almirola ran in the top 10 and top 15 and was looking at a solid finish before being collected in a last-lap multi-car wreck. He was credited with a 19th-place finish. At the half-way mark of the season, Almirola now has two top-10s, four top-15s, nine top-20s and a pole position in 18 starts. Unlike some other tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule, the 1.058-mile oval in Loudon, N.H., is not a new venue for Almirola. Sunday's race will be his fourth Sprint Cup start at NHMS. His top finish is 18th (2008). Comments from Medallion Financial Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola: "You have to go to Loudon with a good-handling car to start with, so it will be important to unload well. We also see fuel strategy and tire strategy play into races there, too. It's not always about the fastest car. Fortunately, I've got just the guy on top of the pit box for that. Mike Ford is a great race strategist. He's won at Loudon by making smart calls. "As we get into the second half of the season, I'm feeling more and more comfortable. We're going to start going back to tracks we've been to as a team, where we have a notebook as a team that we can build off of. Loudon and Indianapolis will still be new, so to speak, for this team as a group, but after that we start hitting some places where we've already been this year. And also just having 10 or 12 races with Mike now, we're working together really well. He's been such an asset to this team, not just to the 43 team, but Richard Petty Motorsports as a whole." Comments from Crew Chief Mike Ford on Loudon: "Loudon is a fun track, but it's a place where track position is very important. It's one mile and it's flat, so you're not going to make up a bunch of positions passing people on track. So it will be important to qualify well, to have fast stops on pit road, and possibly make some strategic calls toward the end of the race to get us in good position. "Aric has raced at Loudon a few times before, so we're fortunate that he brings some Cup car experience this weekend. With qualifying on Friday, we'll just have the one practice session Friday afternoon to see what we've got and get it dialed in as best we can to get us a good starting position." Chassis History: The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 804 for Loudon. This car ran earlier this season at Phoenix and Richmond. RPM PR
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.