Monday, Aug 15

No. 10 Haas Automation Ford Racing: Road America Race Advance

Notes of Interest

 

● After 17 races this season, Almirola is the only driver in the NASCAR Cup Series without a DNF (Did Not Finish). He has completed all but five laps of the 4,650 run this year – a 99.9 percent completion rate.

 

● Last year at Road America, Almirola led one lap and finished 14th. Almirola has 30 road-course starts in the NASCAR Cup Series with two top-10 finishes and a best of eighth at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, five top-20s at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International with a best finish of 12th, three top-20s on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval with a best finish of 14th, and a top-12 finish in the non-points Busch Clash in 2020 on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course. Almirola’s most recent road-course race proved to be a success when piloted the No. 10 Ford to a 14th place finish at Sonoma, but was one of the highest points earners of the day. 

 

● Points: Almirola arrives at Road America 12th in the driver standings with 443 points, 143 out of first.

 

● Haas Automation, founded by Gene Haas in 1983, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets. Also represented on the No. 10 car will be team co-owner Gene Haas’ newest holding, Haas Tooling, which was launched as a way for CNC machinists to purchase high-quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas cutting tools are sold exclusively online at HaasTooling.com and shipped directly to end users. HaasTooling.com products became available nationally in July 2020.

 

● Almirola’s career: In 405 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has earned three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 89 top-10s, three poles, and has led 899 laps.

 

● 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. His opening remarks were attributed to his grandfather’s mentorship. 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.

 

● 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. 

 

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

You don’t consider yourself a road course ace, but you were one of the highest points earners at Sonoma three weekends ago. Are points the strategy at road courses this year?

 

“Yes and no. We came to Sonoma with a good car and I felt good about it, but feeling good about it means a top-10 or top-five run. I didn’t grow up road-course racing like some of these guys. Drew Blickensderfer (crew chief) put us on a great strategy and we were really good on the long run, so we were able to capitalize on stage points each stage. We knew if the race went long enough without a caution, we would have a shot at top-10 or top-five, but a caution came out in the middle of our long run. We still finished fourth and were credited 38 points, which is the equivalent of winning the race with no stage points, so if we get the opportunity to do that, we’re going to take it.”

 

What do you do to prepare yourself for road courses?

 

“Well, there are two ways to train that are very important – mentally and physically. Mentally, we have Ford Performance, who allows us to use high-tech simulator technology that helps us dial in our road-course skills. We typically do that on Tuesday or Wednesday before a race. It refreshes us on the course layout and gives our team some simulation notes to use. The physical side is just as important because road-course racing is very physically demanding on the core, neck, arms, lower legs. And, on top of that, it’s the middle of the summer, so it’s going to be hot. I feel that I have an advantage there because I do a lot of cycling and a lot of heat training in the summer. At Sonoma, we gained three or four spots in the closing laps, so I look forward to those long runs where I may have a physical advantage.” 

 

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