Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 9/17/14

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Aric Almirola, driver of the #15 Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota, sits in his truck during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 5, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
CONCORD, N.C. – A tradition started by No. 43 Eckrich Ford crew chief Todd Parrott, Aric Almirola looks to kiss the bricks in his second Brickyard 400 this weekend. In the fourth race where the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford will carry the Eckrich logo, the team looks to capture their fifth top-10 finish of the 2013 season while working their way back into the coveted 10th spot in the championship point standings. Almirola has just one start at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He started fourth in his first Brickyard 400 but battled an ill-handling car to finish 19th. Veteran Crew Chief Todd Parrott started the NASCAR tradition of kissing the bricks following his first win at the iconic speedway in 1996 with Dale Jarrett behind the wheel. Jarrett earned a second win for Parrott in 1999. In his 15 starts as a crew chief, Parrott has tallied four top-fives, six top-10s and one pole (2005), showing he knows how to get around the 2.5-mile track. In conjunction with the race, Eckrich will be airing its new “Bring the Smoke” commercial featuring Almirola and ‘The King’ Richard Petty in advance of the Brickyard 400 broadcast on ESPN. In line with the new spot, Eckrich and Operation Homefront once again have unique plans for local military families in the Indianapolis community during the race weekend. Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola: “Indy is awesome. It is unreal to drive down that front straightaway with grandstands on both sides and really narrow front straightaway – it’s like you are driving through a tunnel at 200 mph. It’s an amazing feeling. I remember as a kid watching the Indianapolis 500. I then remember when they started racing the Brickyard 400, watching it, and thinking what it would be like to race at that track with all the history and nostalgia. Now, to have that opportunity, is really special. It’s made even better behind the wheel of the No. 43 Eckrich Ford. “Last year was my first time racing there, and I qualified fourth in my first ever attempt. We ran pretty respectable in the race. I look forward to going back there. It’s just a really unique race track and a lot of fun to race on that track. “I’m really excited that the Eckrich ‘Bring the Smoke’ commercial is airing on ESPN before the race this Sunday. I had a blast making it and can’t wait to hear what the fans think of it. I always look forward to having Eckrich on the car with all that they do to give back to our military families during race weekends. This weekend, we have a really fun event planned for families from the Indy area, which will be pretty cool. You’ll have to wait and see what we’re doing, but I’m pretty excited about it.” Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott: “Indy is its own special race track. The history there is so unique, as is the track. I’ve had some success there in the past and know how sweet it is to kiss those bricks. It would be great to get the 43 back into Victory Lane at such an iconic track and be able to kiss the bricks with the ‘King.’ Indy has four distinct corners and a fast straightaway. It will be very important to get a good handle in the turns so we can carry good speed off the corners to be fast on the frontstretch.” Chassis History: The No. 43 team will race the chassis No. 850 this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s the same used at Martinsville earlier this year. -Breaking Limits PR

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