● History at Richmond: In 20 starts, Almirola has earned seven top-10 finishes, two top-fives, and has led one lap on the .75-mile Richmond (Va.) Raceway oval. In his last seven qualifying attempts there, he has started outside the top-10 just twice with a best start of
sixth in the September 2016 race.
● Almirola has shown speed at shorter tracks this season. He qualified second at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and secured a top-10 finish. Almirola qualified fifth at Phoenix Raceway in March and had a fast Smithfield Ford. He qualified 10th in his last visit to Richmond this past April, but an ill-timed caution put him two laps down, ultimately finishing 21st.
● Before he sets his sights on his on-track performance this weekend, Almirola will spend Friday visiting the employees of Smithfield facilities in Suffolk and Smithfield, Virginia. The day will be filled with meet-and-greets, question-and-answer sessions, pit stop demonstrations, autographs, and more. On Sunday, Almirola will visit the Smithfield display in the fan midway, which will host the Smithfield production Ford Mustang that fans can enter to win at Smithfield.com, through the “Finish in Style” program.
● On Tuesday of this week, Almirola, Gwaltney, and the Roc Solid foundation organized a playset build for 4-year-old Adriana, who is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. For five years, Gwaltney has supported Roc Solid Foundation’s mission through playset builds, Ready Bag programs, and Roc Solid On Demand. This year, Gwaltney’s “Building On Hope” campaign donation of $50,000 will support several Roc Solid Foundation initiatives, including the “Play Defeats Cancer Tour,” playsets, and Ready Bags. Click here for video footage.
● Driver Points: Almirola arrives at Richmond 18th in the driver standings with 518 points, 329 out of first.
● Playoff Points: The No. 10 Ford driver sits 19th in the playoff standings, 210 points behind the top-16 cut line. With just three races remaining in the regular season, Almirola and the No. 10 team’s only path to the playoffs is by race win.
● Almirola’s career: In 411 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has earned three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 90 top-10s, three poles, and has led 899 laps.
● One More Time: On Jan. 10,Almirola released a video on his YouTube channel announcing his retirement from fulltime NASCAR Cup Series racing after the 2022 season to spend more time with his family. His opening remarks were attributed to his grandfather’s mentorship. This year marks Almirola’s 11th fulltime Cup Series season. The official press release can be viewed here.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series:In 2022, Almirola is once again sharing 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.
● Almirola was the only NASCAR Cup Series driver to finish in the top-10 in this year’s opening three races. He finished fifth in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, sixth at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and sixth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Almirola’s top-10 streak ended with a 12th-place finish at Phoenix despite running inside the top-10 throughout the race.
● Richmond is a hometown race for Smithfield Foods, whose headquarters are located just 80 miles southeast of the track. Smithfield Foods is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Its 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” Smithfield is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. The company has pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including its industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across its entire U.S. value chain by 2030. Smithfield believes in the power of protein to end food insecurity and has donated hundreds of millions of food servings to local communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.SmithfieldFoods.com, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.