Coming off of a difficult weekend in Bristol that saw the No. 43 Smithfield Ford finish in the 34th position after an accident, Aric Almirola is looking ahead to Richmond. It will be the first scheduled daytime race at the central Virginia track in 17 years after hosting two night races each season. The home track of primary sponsor Smithfield, headquartered in Smithfield, Va., Richmond is a track where Almirola ran well in the past. He had his strongest finish of the 2015 season at the three-quarter mile tri-oval when, in his final bid to make The Chase, he finished in the fourth position and just missed out on a spot in NASCAR's playoffs.
Almirola has eight starts in the Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway. His best finish of fourth place came in the fall of the 2015 season. He is scored with three Top-10 finishes and six Top-20 finishes at the track.
"Race Hub" on FOX Sports 1 will be live from Smithfield, Va., on Thursday night. "The King" Richard Petty will be in attendance along with drivers Aric Almirola and Brian Scott. The Richard Petty Motorsports team will mingle with guests in attendance and talk with FOX Sports 1 hosts on the "Race Hub" stage. There will be racing displays and sampling for fans to enjoy. And we hear that there will be a few special guest judges at the bacon eating contest...
When: Thursday, April 21, 4:00 - 7:00 PM
Where: Smithfield Headquarters, 200 Commerce Street, Smithfield, Va.
Fans will have the opportunity to see both Almirola and "The King" Richard Petty when they judge Smithfield's amateur bacon eating contest in the Fan Midway on Sunday morning. Almirola and Petty are seasoned professionals at judging these contests as Smithfield has hosted a handful of them at other tracks on the NASCAR circuit.
When: Sunday, April 24, 9:55 - 10:25 AM
Where: Richmond International Raceway, Fan Midway
Fans can get in the car with Almirola by listening to his live in-car radio feed on SiriusXM Radio Channel 134 during the Richmond 400.
"Even though it's fast, very fast for a short track, we approach Richmond just like we do for every other short track. Corner exits are really difficult there. Getting forward drive off the corners and being able to out-break someone going into the next corner is really important. So I think, for us, Richmond really does race like a short track. And, it'll be interesting to see what switching from day racing to night racing will do to the action. We had a day race there last year because of a rain delay, and it really seemed to drastically change the handling characteristics of the racecar. We're going to have our work cut out for us there this weekend in trying to really understand the effects of the daylight and hotter temperatures we'll have. But, I got a fourth-place finish there last fall, so I'm excited to go back and see what we can do."