On the heels of two really strong races at Bristol Motor Speedway last season, Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield team have this weekend's race circled on their calendar. Last spring, both the No. 43 and No. 9 teams were competitive and scored Top-Five finishes, marking the first time under the current ownership that both teams finished in the Top-Five. Almirola and teammate Sam Hornish Jr. hope to repeat that performance this weekend.
Almirola returned to Tennessee in the fall with an arguably better No. 43 Ford. A qualifying mishap forced the team to a backup car and a starting spot at the back of the pack. The backup car showed just as much speed, and Almirola quickly worked up through the field. Bad luck struck and wrecked the No. 43 Ford, hindering them from the finish they deserved. Just eight months removed, Almirola is hungrier than ever to get back to the "World's Fastest Half Mile" and compete for a win this weekend.
The Smithfield driver has 11 Sprint Cup Series starts and eight starts in the XFINITY and Truck Series. He tallied three Top-Fives and seven Top-10s in all three NASCAR series.
Fans will have an opportunity to see Almirola and "The King" Richard Petty at the Smithfield Whole Hog Challenge on Sunday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at the Smithfield display in the fan area. The duo will also join Smithfield, Food City and the PVA Friday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m. on the Food City Stage for a special announcement.
On the heels of 2 great races @BMSUpdates, @Aric_Almirola & #43 @SmithfieldBrand team hungry to compete this wknd. #NASCAR #FueledByBacon
On the heels of two very competitive races at @Bristol Motor Speedway last season, @Aric Almirola and the No. 43 @Smithfield team are hungry to compete at the "World's Fastest Half Mile" this weekend.
"I'm really excited to go to Bristol. Last year, we had really competitive racecars for both races. Marcos and I both finished in the Top-Five in the spring. In the fall, I had the most competitive car I have ever driven. We wrecked in qualifying, and Trent (Owens) and the guys came back with a car just as competitive as the first. It was really fun to drive and incredibly disappointing that we got caught in someone else's wreck and didn't get the finish we deserved. That makes us extremely hungry to get to Bristol this weekend. I'm anxious to see how we are off the truck and confident Trent will bring a good car this weekend.
"We have Smithfield on the car this weekend which means we have another Whole Hog Challenge. We've had some really great competitions this year, so I'm excited to see what the Bristol fans can do this weekend. Not only will the No. 43 team be fueled by bacon, but the fans will be as well. Hopefully, that brings us some good luck on the track."