While others are barbecuing and boating this Labor Day weekend, Aric Almirola is ready to get back into his "office" at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway. The driver is eager to climb back into the cockpit of the No. 43 Ford after a mid-race accident forced an early exit from last weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Before the accident, Almirola was running in the top-five.
Sunday night's race at Atlanta will mark the 2012 debut of the blue-and-white AdvoCare paint scheme on the No. 43 Ford. In addition to being the primary sponsor for Almirola, the company that makes energy, weight-loss, nutrition, and sports performance products will also be the title sponsor of the 500.5-mile race. Almirola also personally endorses AdvoCare products as part of his fitness and nutrition regimen.
The 28-year-old driver has one Sprint Cup Series start at Atlanta - a 21st-place finish in 2009. He also has two Nationwide Series and three Camping World Truck Series starts at the 1.54-mile oval.
Comments from AdvoCare Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"Atlanta is a fun track and it's a really fast track. And you can kind of run all over the place, so it's always got the potential for lots of action. It's one of the places where we practice during the day and race at night, and the conditions change from day to night. So you've got to be prepared to adjust on your car from the green flag to the checkered to stay on top of it.
"We've got AdvoCare on our No. 43 Ford this weekend, which is cool for me because it's a company whose products I use personally. I'm a big believer in staying fit and making sure I'm eating right so I have enough energy, and AdvoCare products are a great help to me with my daily workouts and keeping me fueled up."
Comments from Crew Chief Mike Ford on Atlanta:
"We've had some fast cars and some good runs on mile-and-a-half tracks, so I think Aric can run well at Atlanta. It can be challenging to plan for the conditions of the race because we'll only have one early-evening practice session on Saturday. So the key will be to build adjustability into the car so we can adapt to the changing conditions as the night goes on.
"We also need to be mindful of tire wear. Atlanta can have a lot of long green-flag runs, and the more laps you try to stretch on older tires, the more ground you're going to lose on other guys with fresher tires. So that's something we'll definitely be keeping an eye on."