Notes of Interest
● This weekend marks Almirola’s final fulltime NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway. In his previous 18 Cup Series starts there, he has two top-five finishes, four top-10s, and he’s led 86 laps. In the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover, Almirola visited victory lane after leading seven laps. It was his first Truck Series win. Almirola has four starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Dover with a best finish of ninth.
● Although the statistics might not suggest it, Almirola and the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang team have come oh so close to hoisting the trophy at Dover in the Cup Series. In the fall 2018 race there, he started 11th and gradually made his way into the lead by the final stage. He led a total of 64 laps before a late caution, but contact with the wall while racing aggressively in the closing laps ruined his victory bid and left him with a 13th-place finish. It was the first time the Tampa, Florida, native led laps on the concrete mile oval.
● Points: Almirola arrives at Dover 10th in the driver standings with 265 points, 103 out of first.
● Almirola’s career: In 398 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has earned three wins, 27 top-five finishes, 88 top-10s, three poles, and has led 899 laps.
● Through their relationship with Smithfield, Mid-Atlantic food retailer Weis Markets rejoins the No. 10 Ford at Dover for the third consecutive season with co-primary branding on the upper rear quarter panels, decklid and television panel of the uniquely colored red, white and black paint scheme this weekend.
● Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc., is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Its 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” Smithfield is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. The company has pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including its industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across its entire U.S. value chain by 2030. Smithfield believes in the power of protein to end food insecurity and has donated hundreds of millions of food servings to local communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.SmithfieldFoods.com, and connect on Facebook, Twitter,
● Almirola was the only NASCAR Cup Series driver to finish in the top-10 in this year’s opening three races. He finished fifth in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, sixth at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and sixth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Almirola’s top-10 streak ended with a 12th-place finish at Phoenix Raceway despite running inside the top-10 throughout the race.
● One More Time: On Jan. 10, Almirola released a video on his YouTube channel announcing his retirement from fulltime NASCAR Cup Series racing after the 2022 season to spend more time with his family. This year marks Almirola’s 11th fulltime Cup Series season. The official press release can be viewed here.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series:In 2022, Almirola is once again sharing his life beyond the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with season three of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. Episodes have already featured life as a dad, a husband and an athlete, and it gives fans a unique perspective on what goes on in the life of a professional NASCAR driver. Fans can also follow Almirola’s social media channels: @Aric_Almirola on Twitter and Instagram, and @AricAlmirola on Facebook.
Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield/Weis Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
This is your last fulltime NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover. What are your feelings going into the weekend?
“I get asked what my favorite track is all the time during media days and meet-and-greets. My answer is always Dover and it shocks people. They would think Talladega or Daytona because I have had success there, but Dover is just a place I always love to race at. I got my first Truck Series win there and I always feel confident when we race there. It’s going to be bittersweet, but what will make it even sweeter is getting to victory lane again.”
What do you like about Dover?
“I love going to Dover because it’s one of those places you go 170 mph but you feel like you’re going 300 mph. The sensation of speed you get is unbelievable. We had a shot to win that race in 2018 and we led a lot of laps. Every time I go back there, I think about how we have the capabilities to run up front and win, which is the mindset we want every weekend.”