Spotlight on Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford at Bristol

Team Confident They Can Contend for Win to Secure Chase Berth this Weekend

The No. 43 Smithfield team went into last week’s race 50 points outside of a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup transfer spot. By scoring a Top-15 finish, they cut that deficit by more than half and sit just 23 points behind Clint Bowyer who is in the transfer spot. Aric Almirola is confident that the team can contend for a win this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The team has been successful at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile” in the past. Last year, Almirola finished third in the spring race and had arguably the best car in the fall race before two wrecks throughout the weekend ended their night early. Earlier this year, Almirola raced as high as second before an engine issue relegated the team to a 13th-place finish. The team also tested at Bristol this month and felt the car had a lot of speed.

Almirola has 12 Sprint Cup Series starts and eight starts in the XFINITY and Truck Series. He tallied three Top-Fives, seven Top-10s and 10Top-15s in all three NASCAR series.

American Muscle

Almirola and “The King” Richard Petty will join Smithfield Foods, Blue Emu, Nature Blast and Food City at “Food City Family Night” in downtown Bristol Thursday at 5 p.m. for a check presentation for $125,000 the PVA Mission Able campaign. The twosome will also be on hand for the 11th installment of the Smithfield “Whole Hog Challenge” Sunday at 4:25 p.m. at the Smithfield display in the fan area. Fans can sign up to compete in the eating contest at the Smithfield display throughout the weekend.

Productive test earlier this month and past success at the half-mile track give the team confidence they can contend for a win to secure a Chase berth.
“We’re not out of it yet. Last weekend showed that anything can happen. We bounced back from what looked to be a rough weekend to get a Top-15 finish, and Bowyer had some bad luck to help us gain some points on the transfer spot. Bristol is a race we’ve had circled on the calendar since the beginning of the year. Last year in the fall, I felt like I had the best car I’ve ever had in a Sprint Cup race, well two of the best cars. We were fast there again in the spring before a motor issue hurt us on the restarts. We’ve put a lot into this race and feel it’s our best shot at a win. We tested there earlier this month, and I felt like our car was really good. It handled well, and we had good speed.

“With just three races left before the Chase starts, it’s go time. We’ve got to put our heads down and focus on getting the best results we can for the next three weeks. We can’t have any bad races. There’s still a chance we can get in on points, so we don’t want to lose sight of that. But, a win this weekend would lock us in, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”
No. 43 Smithfield Ford

A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by

NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Aric Almirola pilots the famous No. 43 Ford Fusion with primary partners Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force, STP and Fresh From Florida, and Sam Hornish Jr. drives the No. 9 machine with primary partners Medallion Bank and Twisted Tea. In addition, Dakoda Armstrong wheels the No. 43 WinField Ford Mustang full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The team is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.

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