Aric Almirola led the first Bristol Motor Speedway practice session for quite a while early with a speed of 128.503 mph. With 17 minutes remaining, he still sat in fifth.
Aric Almirola had only posted two consecutive complete races before the June Pocono Raceway event. Beginning with that attempt, he finished on the lead lap four times in a row, lost one lap at Kentucky Speedway, and then went the distance at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Aric Almirola finished 18th in this race last year and followed that up with a 20th this spring in the Axalta We Paint Winners 400, which gives him a two-race streak of Pocono Raceway top-20s.
This weekend at Pocono Raceway is a monumental one for Aric Almirola; it marks his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.
Aric Almirola could be this week’s top dark horse on the flat New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dating back to last November’s Goody’s 500 at Martinsville Speedway, he had finished on the lead lap in all but one of six flat track races. He blew an engine in the other event.
Sprint Cup driver Aric Almirola (#43 Ford Fusion) won the Subway Firecracker 250, his second victory in 93 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) races.
Fantasy players looking for a good differentiator this week, might want to pay close attention to Aric Almirola. His last three road course attempts ended in top-20 results.
With a field of 40 cars as a maximum in 2016 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, finishing 20th or better is a very important fantasy metric. In the first 15 races of this season, Aric Almirola has earned five top-20s.
There is minimal upside for Aric Almirola at Pocono Raceway in the No. 43 car. Sunday will mark his ninth start for this team on that track and he has yet to crack the top 15.
Aric Almirola has improved from his qualification attempt in 50 percent of his 12 NASCAR Cup starts in 2016. His best place-differential came in the Daytona 500, where he improved 22 spots to finish 12th.
In a 50-race career on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, Aric Almirola has earned seven top-10s. Three of these were earned at Kansas including eighth-place results in spring 2013 and 2014.
Aric Almirola is not the first driver who comes to mind on short tracks, but he could be a great sleeper this week. Three of his last four Bristol Motor Speedway attempts ended in top-20 results.
One of his best tracks with 13 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Aric Almirola (#43 Smithfield Ford Fusion) has a top-finish of third place at Bristol Motor Speedway in the 2014 spring race.
Aric Almirola has not yet cracked the top 10 in 2016, but with three top-15s in five starts he is solidly in the top 16 in the points’ standings. Almirola currently sits in 13th ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Kenseth, and Chase Elliott.