Missing the race at Sonoma Raceway due to injury, Aric Almirola makes his first and only road course start this season at Watkins Glen International (WGI). His favorite of the two road course races, he looks to top his best road course finish of 14th which he posted in 2015 at Sonoma Raceway. The No. 43 Smithfield team will utilize notes from last year as well as from Sonoma last June to get a good start for the weekend. Almirola will tap into the knowledge he got from past teammate and WGI winner Marcos Ambrose.
Almirola has six Monster Energy Series and one XFINITY Series start at Watkins Glen International. He posted his best Monster Energy Series start of 15th in 2008 and finish of 16th in 2015. In his lone XFINITY start at the road course, he started 17th and finished eighth. Earlier this season, IMSA Ford driver Billy Johnson filled in for the injured Almirola at Sonoma Raceway. He piloted the No. 43 Smithfield Ford from a 26th-place start to a 22nd-place finish.
"I like Watkins Glen. It's definitely my favorite road course on the schedule. It's much harder to pass at Sonoma. I learned a lot from Marcos (Ambrose) while he was a teammate and feel I can use that to my advantage this weekend. This will be my first road course race of the season, so it will be interesting to see how things have changed since last year. We're definitely looking for redemption from last weekend's accident on the first lap and hopefully will get another solid