Aric Almirola heads to the one-mile Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings following a 13th-place finish in the Daytona 500. The 28-year-old driver will make his fifth Sprint Cup start at the track. He looks to best his career, track-high finish of 12th place, which he posted last spring with the No. 43 Farmland Ford team, in Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500.
As part of the Farmland Foods Race to End Hunger, Almirola will join Farmland Foods as they present a cash and protein donation to St. Mary's Food Bank that will help feed hundreds of families, children and seniors in the greater Phoenix area. The donation will be announced at the Fan Fest event at Fry's Grocery Store, 16380 W Yuma Rd., Goodyear, Ariz., on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 4:30 p.m. Fans and media are welcome to attend the event, which will include remarks and photo opportunities with the No. 43 Ford. The full Fan Fest event runs from 2 - 7 p.m., with an appearance by Aric Almirola from 4 - 6 p.m.
Comments from Farmland Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"I'm excited to go to Phoenix this weekend. We had a decent finish in the 500, but felt like we could have done better. Still, we're not in a bad position. If you look at some other guys, they have a big hill to climb to move up, and we just need to get this No. 43 Ford up one spot and then stay in the top-12 until The Chase. It's going to be important for us to be consistent.
"Our Farmland Ford had a good run here last November. Todd (Parrott) and the crew just did a good job, and that's what we want to do this weekend. It's a new car, so the first few practices will be interesting and important. We will want to learn as much as possible and keep getting better all weekend. Sunday, hopefully we can put it all together and have a top-10.
"It's cool to see Farmland back on the car for the first time this season. They do a lot to donate to local food banks. I encourage that and support it. As a race team, we're always looking for ways to help our partners better the community. This is something we all support."
Comments from Crew Chief Todd Parrott on Phoenix:
"This will be the first time we run the Gen-6 car at a mile track, so we are looking forward to seeing how it performs. With our solid finish at Daytona, we have a good footing in the point standings, so we look forward to moving up in points. Aric does a good job at shorter tracks, and we've had a great program in the past. I think that will translate to the Gen-6 car, so I'm anxious to see how we unload this weekend."