Almirola Eager to See Fruits of Off-Season Labor and Investment at Phoenix

Aric Almirola will pilot the No. 43 Farmland Ford in his seventh start at Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday. Almirola and team look forward to seeing their off-season work prove fruitful in the 312-mile race. Almirola has 15 NASCAR National series starts under his belt at the Phoenix, Ariz., track, while Crew Chief Trent Owens has 14 Nationwide races from atop the pit box. They have scored a collective seven top-five, nine top-10 and 11 top-15 finishes at the track.

"We went into the season with a lot of excitement and hard work. Everyone knows Daytona is a crap shoot. I'm proud of the way we performed there and the speed we showed, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what we have at Phoenix. This weekend will be the first test for our team to see the fruits of our labor and investments in competition over the off-season. We tested at New Symrna Speedway twice and Nashville Speedway once and feel we found some things that will help our program throughout the year, so we've had this weekend's race circled on the calendar as an opportunity to see where we stand."

"I'm also excited to participate in my first food donation of the year this week. Before we get on track, we'll join Farmland in giving back to the local community. This is one of my favorite parts of my job and a big reason I enjoy working with Smithfield Foods and their brands. It's an honor for me to be a small part in giving back throughout the season and building awareness for the hungry."

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