Heading to sponsor Smithfield's home track, Aric Almirola looks to tally his third consecutive top-10 finish for the first time in his Sprint Cup career. The No. 43 Smithfield Ford team comes off a seventh and eighth-place finish in the last two races and sit a mere 18 points outside of a coveted Chase position in the championship standings.
Almirola has two Sprint Cup starts at Richmond International Raceway under his belt, both during last season, and has five Nationwide starts at the .75-mile track. He collected his best Richmond finish of seventh in the fall Nationwide race in 2011.
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"Our team is on a roll right now. Everyone is really gelling together. We finished in the top-10 in the last two races, and now, we're eying a top-five. Todd (Parrott) and the guys have brought me fast cars each week. Todd has a few wins here, so I'm confident he'll put a good setup in the car. We tested at Richmond a few weeks ago and felt good about our cars there. The track was really fast which really surprised me. We learned a lot from the test and felt that it helped us figure out what we need for our short-track package. I really like short track racing, so I am excited to get back to a short track this weekend.
"Richmond is Smithfield's home track since they are just up the road in Smithfield, Virginia. It's a big deal for our team to run good here for them. We would love to be able to win a race here. They are going to have a lot of people out this weekend, so I hope we can put on a good show and celebrate with them in victory lane."
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott:
"I'm happy with our performance so far. Our team has shown consistency running up front each week. We had a good test at Richmond a few weeks ago and worked on some different things. That was the first time we were on track with the Gen-6 cars, so I'm confident we will unload with a good car this weekend like we have the past two weeks."