Aric Almirola is eager to head to the first intermediate track of the year, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After posting the fastest time in January testing at the similar Charlotte Motor Speedway, the team has confidence it can be fast this weekend. The No. 43 Farmland Ford team finished the 2012 season with solid finishes at intermediate tracks and showed at the Charlotte test that their intermediate program is still strong with the new car. Almirola will make his fifth start at the Nevada track this weekend.
Once again, Almirola will join Farmland in donating food and money to a local food bank. The duo will present the donation to the Three Square Food Bank Thursday, March 7 at 5:15 p.m. during a fan fest at Smith's Grocery located at 2255 E. Centennial Pkwy North Las Vegas, Nev.
Comments from Farmland Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"We were really fast in the last test at Charlotte, so I'm excited to see how we unload this weekend in Vegas. Toward the end of last season, we were really good at the mile-and-a-half tracks, and doing well at the test gives us some momentum going into this weekend. Last weekend, we accomplished our goal of getting off that bubble spot and into the top-10 in points. We have a lot of optimism that we can gain some spots this weekend again too.
"I feel that we can really use our notes from the test this Thursday and also what we learned at Charlotte to help us post a good finish. Even though it is early in the year, it is extremely important for our team to be in the top-10 in points. Now, all we need to do is stay consistent. We want to post top-10 and top-five finishes weekly. Our Richard Petty Motorsports team is capable of doing that and now we just need to go out and do it.
Comments from Crew Chief Todd Parrott on Vegas:
"I think our intermediate program is really strong. We proved that in the Charlotte test by posting the top time. So far, we have been consistent and will work hard to stay that way. We have to win races to compete for the championship, but getting solid finishes is just as important right now.
"Thursday's test will be important for us. Everyone is still trying to figure out the characteristics of this new car, and we'll be getting a lot of track time. We'll be working pretty hard for Sunday."