Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/19/14

LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 26: Aric Almirola, driver of the #51 Miccosukee Resort Toyota stands during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 26, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Aric Almirola who finished in the 20th place in the final standings. 2012 Statistics: Points: 868 Position: 20th Preseason Pick: 23rd Starts: 36 Poles: 1 Wins: 0 Top 5s: 1 Top 10s: 4 DNFs: 3 Earnings: $4,785,031 What Was Said Prior To The Season: “One of my first bold predictions of 2012, Aric Almirola will get the job done in the famous #43 entry. I think the team is there, it’s a matter of Almirola delivering on it. I say he does equal if not lower than the man he replaced, in A.J. Allmendinger. Give him one random top five and a handful top 10s and it’ll be a good building year for the future. It is a one year deal, so is Almirola a building piece or place holder for a flashy signing next year? How he races will play into that and I can see him giving them a reason to double think what they want to do.” What Happened In 2012: I was just about spot on with my sentiments about Almirola for 2012, he showed promise all year long and was able to deliver on a few occasions. He was fast in qualifying and was able to pick up a season best fourth place in the fall Martinsville race. He and teammate Marcos Ambrose ended the season a bit more consistently, after shaking up the teams, so they will have a lot to build on for 2013. On To 2013: Almirola and Ambrose can look forward to a little continuity for 2013. Both will be back and with Ford, and the teams should be the same as they left them at Homestead. I think this team is a sleeper for 2013 putting in a performance like Michael Waltrip Racing.

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