Aric Almirola returns to Michigan International Speedway with a lot of confidence in his Richard Petty Motorsports team at the two-mile oval. In June, the No. 43 Eckrich Ford started from the fifth spot and raced in the top-10 for most of the day before debris from an accident relegated Almirola and team to a 17th-place finish. Showing speed at the intermediate tracks, the Eckrich team is poised for a good finish this weekend in the Irish Hills.
Almirola continues to support Eckrich, and their partnership with Operation Homefront to give back to military families throughout the season. This weekend is no different as Almirola will surprise a deserving local Michigan family with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So far this season, Eckrich, Almirola and Operation Homefront have provided military families with unique at-track experiences in conjunction with each of their sponsored races.
Almirola has seven starts at Michigan International Speedway over all three NASCAR premier series. The Tampa, Fla., native scored his second truck series win at the speedway in 2010. He has two top-five starts in 'Cup (2013) and trucks (2010). Crew chief Todd Parrott also knows how to win at the Irish Hills track. He has three Sprint Cup wins there with Dale Jarrett in 1996, 1999 and 2002. In his 30 starts as a crew chief, he has an average finish of 12.9 and 12 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.
Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"We ran well at Michigan earlier this season. We were a top-10 car but were in the wrong place at the wrong time and hit some debris from an accident in front of us. All season, we have shown speed at the intermediate tracks, and this weekend shouldn't be any different. We started fifth here in June, so I expect to see that same speed. We're still kinda 'chasing' that wild card spot for The Chase, and each weekend is more important now. There aren't that many more opportunities, and we probably need to get a least two wins. Michigan is a good place for that to happen, since we have proved to run so strong there.
"Once again, we will team up with Eckrich and Operation Homefront this weekend. We have something fun planned, but it's a secret right now. These surprises and giving back to our military families are definitely my favorite part of the Eckrich-sponsored races. We have already done some cool things this year and it's so rewarding every time I get to see the surprised faces of the families who give everything for our country. They truly deserve to be honored and it's great to be a part of."
Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott:
"We showed a lot of speed at Michigan in June. We qualified fifth and ran in the top-10 to 15 for the majority of the race. Michigan is a wide track which makes for a lot of passing and good racing. They race two and three-wide in the corners here which is exciting to watch. We will have to have a good drive off the corners in order to pass here. Being Ford's home track, they take a lot of pride winning here, and we would love to be the team that takes them to victory lane."