Aric Almirola will kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with double duty, running the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Chicagoland Speedway. Saturday, Almirola will make his first start in the Nationwide Series since 2013 with a goal of getting race practice before Sunday's Sprint Cup race. The team is focused on solid finishes throughout the Contender Round in order to be one of the 12 teams to advance to the Challenger Round.
Almirola has five starts at the 1.5-mile track, two in the Sprint Cup Series and three in the Nationwide Series. He scored his track-best finish of fourth in both Nationwide races in 2011 and scored a pole in the summer race that year. He has an average Sprint Cup Series finish of 15th and scored his best Cup finish of 13th last season.
Founded in 1894, Eckrich will celebrate its 120th anniversary this weekend in line with the promise on which the brand was built; quality and service. Eckrich will honor that promise this weekend as it honors and gives back to 120 of America's military families. Eckrich will showcase the names of the 120 military families on the No. 43 car. Eckrich will also host the families at the event and provide each family with a $120 gift card at Jewel-Osco. The car design, race day experience and gift cards align with the deep history of the company to give back to consumers and pay tribute to those who trust the brand.
Kicking off #Chase for #NASCAR @Sprint Cup, @Aric_Almirola will do #doubleduty, racing #43 @eckrichmeats Ford Sun. & #98 @SmithfieldFoods Ford Sat.
@Aric Almirola will kick off the #Chase for the @NASCAR @Sprint Cup with double duty. He will compete in the Sprint Cup race Sunday in the No. 43 @Eckrich Ford and in the @Nationwide Series race on Saturday in the No. 98 @Smithfield Foods Ford.
"I really enjoy racing at Chicago. The track is kind of worn out and slick, and any time we go to racetracks like that, I really enjoy it. I'm looking forward to going to Chicago and kicking off The Chase with a good run. We tested there, and I felt like we had a pretty good test. Running the Nationwide race is going to be beneficial because I'm going to have time on the racetrack prior to our race. A lot of times we have our happy hour practice and then we're not on the racetrack again until the race the next day, so you don't really know the swing that the track takes after the Nationwide race. I'm sure we'll be able to take some information like air pressures and how the tires are wearing throughout the race to the Cup side as well. We're all in and focused on consistency in the first three races to advance to the Contender Round."
"It's really cool to have the names of 120 military families on the car this weekend at Chicago. Eckrich is celebrating their 120th anniversary, and it's only fitting that they are doing that through Operation Inspiration. The 120 military families will get to come out to the speedway and watch us race their names around the track. That will not only be cool for them but an honor for me as well. These families sacrifice so much. I'm just proud to be a small part of giving back to them."