CONCORD, N.C. – Aric Almirola and the Richard Petty Motorsports team will travel to the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway this weekend with familiar logos. Returning for its first of six primary events, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, will once again be featured on the hood and sides of the famed No. 43. The car will continue to showcase the Petty Blue base that Smithfield Foods returned back to the No. 43 earlier this season. In addition, Eckrich, through its continued partnership with Operation Homefront, will once again showcase the nonprofit colors on the car to support military families in need.
Last season, Eckrich partnered with RPM for three Sprint Cup races and with Almirola at the Prelude to The Dream at Eldora Speedway. This year, Eckrich will be the primary sponsor for six events including this weekend. Eckrich will once again use the partnership with RPM and Operation Homefront to honor military veterans and their families.
Almirola heads to Ft. Worth with four starts under his belt. Last fall, he started 14th and finished 15th with the No. 43 Eckrich Ford team.
Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola: “Last weekend was a tough pill to swallow, so we’re excited to get back on track and focus on Texas. We had a decent car at Vegas, another mile-and-a-half track, and finished well there. We’ll have a good amount of track time on Thursday to work on our new car for this weekend. Todd and the guys have a good plan for testing, so I’m confident we will find the speed we need for Saturday’s race.
“It’s great to see Eckrich back on our No. 43 Ford again. They were great partners last year, especially with everything they did with Operation Homefront to honor and assist the families of our military veterans and wounded warriors. Hopefully we can do the same this year, especially since they will be partnering with us for more race events. Having been born on an Air Force base and doing some work with Eckrich and Operation Homefront last year, I really appreciate our military and their families. Being a new father, too, that really makes me want to help out in any way I can. I know our race team and I are proud to be associated with Eckrich and Operation Homefront.”
Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott: “Our team has been strong at intermediate tracks since we got together the end of last season. I think we will be able to unload fast and really work on the cars during testing and practice. It’s important to turn well in the corners at Texas, so we will work on that. We have been on the cusp of a top-10 finish all season, and I think we can get our first this weekend.
“I have been around the Petty family for a long time. They never stop giving back to others in need and who need some help. Richard (Petty) has always gone above and beyond for anyone, but especially to our military veterans. Having Eckrich and Operation Homefront on our car, and supporting our veterans, wounded warriors, and their families, I know that’s important to him and us, too. Our team is honored to carry the Eckrich and Operation Homefront logos this weekend.”
Chassis History: The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 843 for Texas. The team built the chassis in the off-season.