One-mile tracks have been good to Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team over the past two weeks. With a 17th-place finish in Loudon and a 16th-place finish in Dover, Almirola is carrying momentum heading to Charlotte this weekend. Mile-and-a-half tracks have presented challenges for the No. 43 team throughout season, but the newly-restructured team is settling in and showing progress. Charlotte Motor Speedway will be a true test for the team, but it is one that Almirola and Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer are ready to take on.
Almirola has nine Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning the pole for his first start at the track. He has one Top-10 finish that came in the fall of the 2015 season when he finished in 10th place. In his eight XFINITY Series starts at that track, Almirola has three Top-10 finishes with a best result of fourth place in 2007.
Almirola will be at the Ford Performance display on Saturday afternoon answering fans' questions. Be sure you're there with your questions ready!
When: Saturday, October 8, 3:40 - 3:55 PM
Where: Ford Performance Display, Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Midway
Fans will have the opportunity to see both Almirola and "The King" Richard Petty when they judge the Whole Hog Challenge at the Smithfield display in Charlotte Motor Speedway's Fan Midway. Pre-selected contestants will compete against one another to eat two pounds of Smithfield bacon the fastest. The winner, crowned by Almirola and Petty, will move on to participate in the final Whole Hog Challenge Championship in Miami at the end of the season.
When: Saturday, October 8, 4:00 - 4:30 PM
Where: Smithfield Display, Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Midway
"Charlotte is definitely a very hectic race for everyone in the garage. We always talk about how great it is to be racing at home, but, to be honest, Charlotte is typically a very busy weekend for us. A lot of our partners and sponsors come to town. We usually do a lot of fan appreciation activities around Charlotte and at our race shop. We get to be really busy around Charlotte weekend, and it actually ends up being one of the busiest weekends of the year. Then when you finally get to go racing, you have to try and get a handle on one of the most temperamental tracks on the circuit. When the sun is out, the track is hot and slick and really hard to get a hold of. When the sun goes down or if it gets just a little bit cloudy, it grips up and gets really fast. It's extremely weather sensitive, and it's looking like we're going to have some crazy weather this weekend."