● History at Pocono: Almirola will make his 18th start in the NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway this weekend. Almirola will race for his third consecutive top-five finish at Pocono. Last year, the Smithfield Ford driver earned third- and fifth-place finishes, respectively, to add to his four career top-10s at the 2.5-mile triangle.
● Almirola has one start at the “Tricky Triangle” in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in June 2016, which resulted in an 11th-place finish. He’s also made one start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in July 2010 and earned a fourth-place finish.
● Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz grew up just 25 miles south of Pocono Raceway in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. In 10 starts at his home track, he’s earned an impressive four top-five finishes. Only three of his finishes were outside of the top-11.
● At last weekend’s inaugural Cup Series race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, Almirola won the pole position and raced to a fourth-place finish. It was his best performance of 2021 and his first top-five.
● Almirola’s season has been mired by bad luck and unfortunate finishes. The Tampa, Florida, native started the year off with a win in his Duel qualifying race to start on the front row of the Daytona 500. Since then, Almirola has been dealt five DNF’s (did not finish) due to contact by other cars, cut tires, or involvement in multicar accidents. In 17 races, he has two top-10 finishes and one top-five. However, his luck seemed to turn around when he won the All-Star Open two weekends ago at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. He went on to finish eighth in the All-Star Race. With another solid result at Nashville, Almirola and the No. 10 team feel they are gaining momentum quickly.
● Almirola’s 2020 season proved successful when he earned a career-high 18 top-10 finishes, six top-fives and led 305 laps. During the season, Almirola went on a five-race streak of top-five finishes and earned nine consecutive top-10s.
● Career Stats: Almirola has career totals of two wins, two poles, 25 top-five finishes, 81 top-10s and 843 laps led in 369 NASCAR Cup Series starts.
● Smithfield Foods celebrates 10 years of partnership with Almirola this season with a special campaign called Taste Victory.As one of the most active partners in NASCAR, Smithfield plans to engage fans all year long by hosting a microsite that provides the opportunity to win when Almirola wins or finishes inside the top-10. When Almirola wins, one fan wins $10,000, and 10 fans win a gift card for each top-10 finish. The microsite also doubles as an Aric Almirola fan page and entertainment source where fans can get behind the wheel of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with a custom racing game, and learn more about Almirola with fast facts, favorite recipes and custom content about his life on and off the track. Visit www.tastevictory.com to learn more. Thanks to Almirola’s Feb. 11 win in his Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500, one lucky fan has already won $10,000.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series: In 2021, Almirola continues to share his life beyond the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with season three of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. Episodes have already featured life as a dad, a husband and an athlete, and it gives fans a unique perspective on what goes on in the life of a professional NASCAR driver. Fans can also follow Almirola’s social media channels: @Aric_Almirola on Twitter and Instagram, and @AricAlmirola on Facebook.
● After the season’s first 16 points-paying events, the Smithfield Ford team sits 28th in the championship with 240 points, 444 behind leader Denny Hamlin.