● Almirola has 39 road-course starts in the NASCAR Cup Series with two top-10 finishes and a best of eighth at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in 2018. His road-course results include five top-20s at Watkins Glen with a best finish of 12th in 2019, three top-20s on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval with a best of 14th in 2019, and a 12th-place finish in the non-points Busch Clash in 2020 on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course. While Almirola is seeking his first road-course victory in the Cup Series, he did race his way to victory lane June 10 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Sonoma.
● Driver Standings: Almirola arrives at Talladega 22nd in the driver standings.
● Almirola’s career: In 455 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 93 top-10s, six poles, and has led 1,075 laps.
● Last weekend at Talladega, Almirola earned his second pole of the 2023 season and the sixth of his NASCAR Cup Series career. He led seven laps on race day, but was collected in a multicar accident on the last lap.
● IHOP will be the primary sponsor on the No. 10 Ford Mustang this weekend with a brand new paint scheme. For more than 65 years, IHOP has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, lunch and dinner. The chain offers 65 different signature fresh, made-to-order breakfast options, a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items, including Ultimate Steakburgers, Hand Crafted Melts, Burritos & Bowls and more. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of June 30, there are 1,790 IHOP restaurants around the world, including restaurants in all 50 states, two U.S. territories and 13 countries outside the United States. IHOP restaurants are franchised by affiliates of Pasadena, Calif.-based Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).
● “Do a Pancake:” For too long, the popular circular burnout to celebrate a win has been called a “donut.” This season, IHOP is taking over the ultra-cool racecar move to make it its own by changing the name of a “donut” to its true inspiration – a “pancake.” The partnership includes Almirola’s IHOP-branded racecar on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval this weekend and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend. In celebration, IHOP is giving International Bank of Pancakes rewards members a free PanCoin every time a winner does a “pancake” during a race featuring the IHOP car. Additionally, if Almirola wins at Charlotte or Las Vegas, one lucky loyalty member will be awarded 100,000 PanCoins.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series:In 2023, Almirola is continuing to share his life beyond the No. 10 Ford with season five 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 the show 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 IHOP Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What has been the key to Stewart-Haas Racing’s improved performance, recently?
“It’s good that everybody else notices it because, internally, I feel like we notice it and everyone here is continuing to be motivated by seeing things start to go in the right direction, so that’s nice. From my standpoint, to show up to the racetrack with a little bit more speed and be a little bit more competitive is encouraging, but it starts at the shop and it really has gotten to a point to where we were at a pretty low spot, and everybody was searching. Every team, every crew chief, every engineer is searching like, ‘Oh my God, we’re off. What can we do to find speed. Let’s try this setup. Let’s do this to the car. Let’s do that to the car.’ So you end up with everybody kind of going off on these islands trying to figure out what we need to do to put speed in our racecars. And, over the last couple of months, I feel like we’ve come back together because that hasn’t worked and there’s been a lot more unity and collaboration internally inside of our organization – bringing all the smart people together talking about what we need to do and kind of going at it more collectively, and that’s been a turning point. I feel like that’s been beneficial.”
You won your first road-course race in the Xfinity Series earlier this year at Sonoma. How could that translate to the Roval this weekend?
“Just confidence in myself on road courses. The cars don’t translate much from Xfinity to Cup, and the Roval is a mix of speed and handling on the oval with the tight turns in the road-course portion. If we could find that balance in our cars, we’ll be competitive. I’m proud of our team and the effort we’ve all put in to improve our road-course cars over the year.”