The No. 43 Smithfield Ford teams heads to Pocono (Penn.) Raceway 17 points outside of the coveted top-10 in championship points. Aric Almirola hopes to out-trick the 'Tricky Triangle' and bring home a top-10 finish to help propel the team in points.
Almirola posted a 28th and 18th-place finish in the June and August races respectively last year. Almirola also has one start in the truck series where he started fifth and finished fourth at the track.
Veteran Crew Chief Todd Parrott brings 30 races of experience to Pocono. He has tallied two wins (2002, 1997), 12 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. In those 30 races at the 'Tricky Triangle,' he has an average finish of 14.4.
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"Pocono is certainly one of the tougher racetracks to set up to get your car to be perfect. You have Turn One that is a very high-speed and high banked turn. The 'Tunnel' Turn is really high speed too, but just somewhat of a turn. It is just enough to make you slow down a bit. Then, you have Turn Three that is a long, slow, sweeping corner. Turn Three is very important - you have to get off that corner so you can make that long run down the front straightaway. Pocono is always a very challenging place to get a good handling car.
"I feel that we can have a really good race here. Todd really knows how to set up the car for this track, and that's going to help with the new car. He's really good at finding the handling of the car that really works for me. I think that's why we had so much success. We haven't had a great few weeks, but we're still right here in contention. We just need a good finish this Sunday."
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott:
"I'm excited to go to Pocono. Pocono is a very challenging track because it is so unique. We will really focus on getting off of turn three with a lot of speed, so we can get good momentum on the front straightaway. You never know what Mother Nature is going to do at Pocono, so you have to be ready for hot and cool track temperatures because they can change in an instant."