CONCORD, N.C. – Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team look to bounce back after bad luck in Charlotte last weekend. Still in the hunt for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Almirola and team are confident they can contend for the win this weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Almirola is a winner at the one-mile concrete track, winning the truck race in 2010. Almirola showed speed in his two Sprint Cup starts at the ‘Monster Mile’ and finished sixth in his track debut last season in the spring race. Last fall, the Todd Parrott-led team had a strong car during the race, but untimely yellow flags marred the team laps down. Parrott also found success at the Delaware track. He won there in 1998 with Dale Jarrett and racked up 15 top-10 finishes in his 31 starts as a crew chief.
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola: “I’m really excited to go to Dover this weekend. Last weekend, we struggled a bit with the handling but never gave up. By the end, Todd (Parrott) and the guys got the car really good. Unfortunately, our day ended early. That just makes us hungrier at Dover. I expect us to run really well. Dover is my favorite race track on the circuit. I always enjoy going to there, and I feel really good about going there with what we have been doing the past few weeks. I have that race circled on my calendar as a race that we have a legitimate shot to win.
“We ran sixth at the spring race last year. At the fall race, we had an even better car. We had some tire issues and some troubles on pit road. Everything stacked up against us, and we kept loosing laps throughout the race with stuff that had nothing to do with the handling of our car. We had an incredibly fast car there last fall. Hopefully, we can go back there with the same amount of speed that we had there the last two races. I feel really good about it.”
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott: “Dover is a good track for our organization. Both teams showed really strong cars last season, and Aric really showed he can drive the track they call a monster. Pit road is tricky because it comes up on the driver really fast. Aric will need to make sure he hits his marks on pit road and doesn’t miss the commitment mark. Pit road is tight and track position is everything at Dover. It’s a one-mile track and the cleaner the air is, the better the Smithfield Ford will run this weekend.”
Chassis History: The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 855, a new chassis, for Dover.