Don't try to hail the yellow-and-black cab that you'll see flying around Michigan International Speedway (MIS) next weekend. It will probably be going too fast. Aric Almirola will take the No. 43 Medallion Financial Ford to the newly repaved track for this weekend's Quicken Loans 400, plus a one-day test session on Thursday to feel out the new surface. A tire test in April at the two-mile oval, which was repaved in the off-season, showed speeds topping 210 miles per hour, far exceeding the track qualifying record of 194.232 miles per hour.
Almirola knows where Victory Lane is at MIS. He visited there with a race win in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010. In addition to his Truck win, Almirola also has one top-five finish in two Nationwide starts at Michigan. He'll look to take his Medallion cab-themed Ford back to Victory Lane at the end of Sunday's 400-mile Sprint Cup Series event.
Comments from Medallion Financial Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"I'm looking forward to going to Michigan. I like racing there and have won there in the Truck Series. It's always good to go back to a track where you've had a success - it gives you a little more confidence going in even if you're in a different series. It will be good to have Medallion back on the car, too. It's a cool scheme and definitely gets people's attention.
"It'll be interesting to see the speeds for that first day of testing. They were pretty fast at the tire test a couple months ago. You'll definitely have to be on your game when you're behind the wheel because with those high speeds you can have the 'Big One' much like at a restrictor-plate track. But our goal is to be running up front and not have to be dodging anything."
Comments from Crew Chief Mike Ford on Michigan:
"Michigan is going to be a somewhat similar situation as Pocono. Both were repaved in the off-season and both are tracks where Aric has never run in a Cup car. So we'll go out there and test on Thursday to see how the new surface is and get him acclimated to the track.
"It's going to be fast, we know that. The tire test earlier this year showed speeds at 210, almost 215 miles per hour. We'll get a feel for it over the test day and practices, and then keep an eye on the ARCA and Nationwide races to get some indicators to see what happens in race conditions."