Short tracks have been a highlight of The Chase races for Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Ford team. Almirola scored a 17th-place finish in Loudon, a 16th-place finish in Dover and a 15th-palce finish in Martinsville. Phoenix International Raceway will be the final short track visit of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, and the team is looking forward to returning. After finishing in the 13th position at the one-mile track in the spring, Almirola will return with the U.S. Air Force adorning the hood to score another Top-15 finish.
Almirola will also pilot the No. 98 Ford for Biagi-DenBeste Racing in the XFINITY Series on Saturday. This will be Almirola's ninth start for the team this season. The last time he raced in the XFINITY Series, he left Daytona International Speedway in July with the winner's trophy.
This will be Almirola's 12th start in the Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix International Raceway. His best finish of fifth-place came in the spring of 2012. He has raced six times there in the XFINITY Series, and he has a best finish of sixth place that came in 2010.
"Our short-track program has been much better here recently. Three or four years ago, our mile-and-a-half program was definitely our strongest program and short tracks were a struggle. But, over the past few years, we've been developing our program, and it's become more respectable. I'm looking forward to going to Phoenix. The XFINITY race will be fun. Last time I went racing with Biagi-DenBeste Racing, it went pretty well. And, we've run really well at Phoenix in our Cup cars too, and I'm excited to close out the year with a good run in Phoenix."