Aric Almirola heads to his home state of Florida looking to put an exclamation point on the end of his 2012 season. The 28-year-old driver, who is wrapping up his first full-time year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has enjoyed a late-season surge and looks to end the year with a bang in the No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 gives Almirola and Smithfield a final shot at Victory Lane before the 2012 season comes to an end. The Tampa, Fla., native has a prior fourth-place finish (2010) at the 1.5-mile oval - tied with his Oct. 28 finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for his career-best result.
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"I kind of wish the season wasn't ending. We've really hit on some good team chemistry here with Todd Parrott and the guys since we started working together two months ago and the results have been showing on track. We've had some fast cars and really good runs and we'll look to do even better here at Homestead, maybe even with a win. I've run well at Homestead - finished fourth a couple years ago - and I don't see any reason why we can't do even better than that or even win this thing.
"I'm so appreciative of everything that Smithfield has done for us this season. In racing, we talk a lot about our racing 'family,' and we definitely have developed a family relationship with everybody at Smithfield. We're happy that our No. 43 Ford Fusion will be 'fueled by bacon' one more time this season. I don't know if bacon and champagne go together, but I hope we can find out on Sunday."
Comments from Crew Chief Todd Parrott on Homestead:
"We've had some good results on the mile-and-a-half's with Aric, so I think we can end the season with a bang. Homestead is a good track for Aric. It's fast with multiple grooves and you can run all over the place. And the banking varies for each groove, so you can run different lines and see where your car runs best. Smithfield has been good to us this year so we'll try to get them to Victory Lane to cap off the season. "