Almirola Pumped For Richard Petty Motorsports 500th Start In Texas

Aric Almirola is fired up to return to Texas Motor Speedway, not necessarily because of the 1.5 mile track, but because he’s hoping to deliver a good finish for Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) in their 500th NSCS (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) start.  Almriola is expecting better than his spring finish at Texas, which was 7th.

“I’m really proud to be a part of Richard Petty Motorsports’ 500th start. This team has gone through a lot in the past few years.” Almriola said. ”We’ve really come a long way and have made strides this season to get to where we know we can be. Hopefully, we can hit the 500 mark and celebrate in Victory Lane this weekend.”

Almirola will be alongside teammate Marcos Ambrose in assisting the team (RPM) in their 500th start. Richard Petty Motorsports was formed by 7-time NSCS champion in 2009 season. The team rapidly expanded to a single-car NNS operation and a two-car NSCS operation.

“It is really exciting to reach the 500 start mark with RPM. This team has come a long way since it started and even in the three years I have been here.” Said Marcos Ambrose. “I came here and we quickly had to get over some adversity, but we developed a strong base with Richard Petty, Andrew Murstein, Doug Bergeron and our other investors and partners. We developed a base and were able to capitalize by winning at Watkins Glen for consecutive two years. We also put ourselves into a position to make the Chase for the past two years. This year wasn’t what we hoped for on the track, but off the track, we’re stronger than ever.

Aric Almirola though is also trying to hit other milestones this weekend in Texas. Aric drove the No. 41 this past weekend in Martinsville to honor Maurice Petty, but this weekend he’s back in the No. 43 looking to take the machine to victory lane. If you didn’t know, the No. 43 hasn’t seen victory lane since the 1999 NSCS season.

“Texas is completely different. The shape is very similar to Atlanta and Charlotte but completely different in its own right. The way the banking falls away off Turn Two and the entry to Turn Three is really flat, so both of those corners are tricky.” Almriola explained about Texas Motor Speedway. “The asphalt is old and wore out, which is fun to race on a track like that. I’m really looking forward to going to Texas. We had a really good car there in the spring. We ran really well there and were really fast. We have learned a lot over these last several months since we were there in April. I feel like we will be really good this week.”

The No. 43 squad with Greg Ebert at the helm, as the crew chief, won’t be changing the chassis from the spring after the seventh-place run.

“With the new Gen-6 car, we have shown a lot of improvement over the season at 1.5-mile tracks. Texas is a really fast track, so we’ll work hard to make sure the car handles well. We’ll really focus on turning well in the corners, so we can pick up speed on the straightaways. We finished really well at Texas this spring, and I think we can follow that up with another good finish this week.”

Aric is trying to finish what Lee Petty, Richard Petty and John Andretti have done and that’s reach 200 wins in the famed #43. The number currently has 198 wins to its name and Aric’s looking to make that 199 this weekend in Texas.

Marshall Gabell