Aric Almirola is a solid mid-cap pick this week on the strength of four consecutive top-20 finishes on short, flat tracks.
In addition to driving the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion SS in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Cup Can-Am 500(k) at Phoenix Int’l Raceway, Aric Almirola will pilot the No. 98 Ford Mustang for Biagi-DenBeste Racing in the XFINITY Series Ticket Galaxy 200 on Saturday afternoon.
Aric Almirola had been running at the end of 21 consecutive races on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks until he was involved in a lap-36 crash in the Hollywood Casino 400.
Aric Almirola earned his first top-10 in the past 33 races Sunday with an eighth in the Hellmann's 500 at Talladega SuperSpeedway.
Aric Almirola blew an engine in his first Talladega SuperSpeedway attempt; this May he crashed and recorded only his second DNF of his career on this track.
Aric Almirola has scored 11 top-20 finishes in his last 17 attempts on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks dating back to the start of 2015.
Aric Almirola has finished 21st or better in 36 races on short, flat tracks with Richard Petty Motorsports and has fallen outside the top 26 only three times.
Brian Scott and Aric Almirola were the first two drivers outside of the top 24 cutoff for round two of qualification at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Bad Boy Off Road 300. Scott will start 25th with a lap of 132.966 mph; Almirola lines up 26th with a lap of 132.887 mph.
Aric Almirola has been surprisingly strong on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks in the past two years. His last 18 attempts on this track type ended in 16 top-25s that included two top-10s and four other top-15s.
Richard Petty Motorsports today announced more competition changes in a continued effort to improve their on-track performance.
Aric Almirola has finished all the laps in four of the past five two-mile track races. His best result in those events was a 14th last August in the Pure Michigan 400 when he advanced all the way from 30th.
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.