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.
Aric Almirola fell from seventh to 24th in the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was the first driver one lap off the pace.
Aric Almirola paces the afternoon test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway leading up to Sunday's Kobalt 400.
Aric Almirola (#43 Smithfield Ford Fusion) scored two consecutive Top-15 finishes to start the 2016 season (12th in the historic Daytona 500 and 15th in Atlanta).
Aric Almirola sustained some damage in the pits at Atlanta. He backed into another car and dented the back bumper.
Kurt Busch spun in a single-car crash with a handful of laps remaining, but NASCAR did not throw a caution. Meanwhile in an unrelated incident, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards triggered a multi-car accident that also collected Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, and Casey Mears.
Aric Almirola has the 25th-best average finish on restrictor-plate, superspeedways despite winning the 2014 Coke Zero 400. Including one failure to qualify in 22 starts, his average of the big tracks is 23.32.
NASCAR announced the 25 eligible drivers for the season-opening 75-lap Sprint Unlimited at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 13.