While the drivers in the Sprint Cup "Chase" may have to tip-toe around Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway to avoid a costly accident, Aric Almirola will be powering ahead at full speed. The driver of the No. 43 Gwaltney Ford, "fueled by bacon," will look to run in one place - at the front of the pack.
Gwaltney, a family company that produces bacon, franks, lunchmeats, sausage and hams, will have an important message for fans during the Talladega weekend, too - that media reports of an upcoming bacon shortage are not true. The company assures consumers that despite economic challenges that could slow pork production, the commitment to deliver high-quality, wholesome bacon and bacon products will continue unabated.
Sunday's Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 will mark the first time the red and yellow Gwaltney paint scheme will adorn the No. 43 Ford this season. Almirola's track record at Talladega indicates the car should get some attention. In his five Sprint Cup starts at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, his top finish (12th) and top qualifying effort (fourth) came in May this season.
Comments from Gwaltney Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"Talladega is a great opportunity to more or less go for broke. All these guys in the 'Chase' really do have to be careful they don't get caught up in the 'Big One' and ruin their title chances. So you might see some guys hanging out toward the back, trying to stay out of trouble, and basically just not be as aggressive as they'd like to be. But that just gives us more of an opportunity to run up front, lead some laps, and possibly come home with our first win of the season.
"It's great timing to have Gwaltney on our car this week with all this talk about a bacon shortage. We kind of joke about the rumors and people are calling it the 'Aporkalypse,' but it's actually a serious matter that affects farmers across the country. It was a rough summer with the drought and we all hope that everyone recovers from it financially. But for this race week, we're here to assure race fans that they don't have to worry about the bacon case at the grocery store being empty. Gwaltney will be there, no matter what."
Comments from Crew Chief Todd Parrott on Talladega:
"The superspeedways are just about getting as much speed out of the car as possible. Handling isn't much of an issue, so you're just working on speed and strategy. The strategies at these tracks have evolved over the past couple years with repaving and rule changes, but we'll be approaching the weekend much like we did earlier in the year, and that's to use the draft to our advantage, stay out of trouble and try to be up front in the closing laps so you're in position to make a move."