Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 11/12/14
Daytona_500_practice_0b81

Coming off of a 26th place finish at Richmond, Aric Almirola has high hopes for the upcoming Aaron’s 499 from Talladega. He currently sits 23rd in the driver standings, tied with Kasey Kahne. This weekend he will feature VeriFone on his #43 Ford Fusion and it marks the first race with new crew chief Mike Ford. Below are some notes and quotes from Ambrose and Ford about Talladega.

Aric Almirola Comments on the Aaron’s 499:  “Well, this is a big weekend for a couple of reasons.  First, and most obvious, is our new crew chief.  This will be the first race that Mike (Ford) and I will be working together.  It’s a little bit of a different track to start working together since it’s a plate race, but I’m still anxious to work with Mike.  He’s a proven winner in our sport and I think he can elevate our program to win races.

“Second, we have VeriFone Sail on the car this weekend. It’s pretty cool to have VeriFone come on board as a team sponsor for us. This has been a pretty exciting week already for us.  I think everyone at VeriFone is seeing all the excitement around the race team and we want to continue that this weekend.

“Talladega is a pure crapshoot for everyone.  We have just as much chance to win this race as anyone. We had a pretty fast speedway car at Daytona and the Roush-Yates Engines have won a lot of plate races, too.  I think we have a good shot at starting near the front.  It’s then just staying out of trouble and being there at the end.”

Mike Ford Comments on Talladega:  “I guess vacation is over, but it will be nice to get back to work.  This is a great opportunity to work with Richard Petty Motorsports and on the famous No. 43 Ford.  There is no other car that anyone wants to see back in Victory Lane than this one.  I want to help get it there.

“There are a few things we can do to the car to get it ready, but Talladega is just more about being at the right place at the right time.  I’m just going to try and give Aric some advice that I’ve learned and let him take control.  We’ll make sure we give him the best car to win and then see what happens in the draft.  Talladega is always a wide-open race.” 

Chassis History: The No. 43 team will race chassis No. 716 this weekend.  The chassis has never been raced by the team, but has served as the backup for other restrictor plate races. 

Notes: This will be the first race with new crew chief Mike Ford. Ford was hired on Monday of this week.  Almirola and Ford will be available to the media on Friday at 10:15 a.m. in the Talladega Media Center.

Almirola will make two appearances at the VeriFone Sail display:  Saturday from 10:20 to 10:40 a.m. and Sunday from 8:30 to 8:50 a.m.

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