Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/21/14
Daytona_500_practice_0b81
CONCORD, N.C. – Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team are looking to make history this weekend at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway with a fifth consecutive top-10 finish. If the team can finish in the top-10, it will mark the first time that the Petty-owned No. 43 has more than four consecutive top-10 finishes since Richard Petty posted seven consecutive top-10s in 1983. It will also mark the first time Richard Petty Motorsports has posted five consecutive top-10 finishes. With a 10th-place finish at Talladega, the team moved to the seventh position in championship points, a first for any Richard Petty Motorsports team after 10 races. The No. 43 team is trailing the sixth spot by six points and has a 14 point lead on 11th. Almirola made his Darlington debut last season with the No. 43 team, where he started in the 13th spot and finished 19th. The Tampa, Fla., native also has two Nationwide and one truck start at the 1.37-mile track. His best Darlington start (fourth) and finish (ninth) came in his lone truck start in 2010. Veteran Crew Chief Todd Parrott knows how to get around the ‘Lady in Black.’ In his 23 starts as crew chief, he has an average start of 12.9 and finish of 11.1, including three wins and three poles. Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola: “We sure are on a roll lately. I think we are the only people that aren’t surprised we are seventh in points and have the longest current top-10 streak in the series. Todd (Parrott), the guys and I are really clicking. We worked hard over the off-season to maintain our momentum, and it worked. We just need to keep it up and start moving to top-fives and hopefully a win soon. “Darlington is a really tough track. Last year, I felt like I learned a lot during the race and got into a good rhythm by the end. We had a decent finish for my first time out and only a few ‘Darlington stripes.’ Todd has a great track record here, so I should be able to feed off of his experience. Obviously, our goal is to get another top-10 finish, but we are really eyeing victory lane. I think if we can put ourselves in a good position during the majority of the race, we can have a good shot at getting the 43 its first win since 1999.” Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott: “Darlington is a very difficult track. You never know when the ‘Lady in Black’ will come out and bite you. It’s a long race from daylight to night, so it’s really important to keep up with the track changes and make the right adjustments. Our team’s relationship is stronger than ever, which is important here. It will be key to have good communication from Aric about what the car is doing, so we can stay ahead of the track with changes.”  Chassis History: The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 839 for Darlington. Almirola drove chassis No. 839 at Auto Club Speedway in March where he drove from a 23rd starting spot to finish 14th.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Report: Lakers offered Nash, draft picks for Rondo

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Danny Ainge: Celtics 'having a lot of discussions' about trades

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Michael Vick has almost paid off all his massive debt

Russell Wilson changes agents ahead of big payday

Dolphins CB: Brady needs to 'wake up' about playing into 40s

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

Report: Bears in disbelief over Cutler benching

Is Titans-Jaguars the worst prime-time game this century?

Ranking the most underrated players in the NBA

Darrelle Revis feels sad for Rex Ryan

Five reasons why Oregon will win College Football Playoff

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason so far

Report: Celtics in serious trade talks involving Rondo

NASCAR 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins and other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

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.