Stock Car Racing
#43 Aric Almirola
|Car||#43 Ford Fusion|
|Crew Chief||Trent Owens|
|Birthday||NOV 15, 2013|
The third full season at Richard Petty Motorsports proved to be the charm for Aric Almirola, who became the first Cuban-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after taking the checkered flag in July’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
That victory also ended up clinching a spot in the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, where he was eventually eliminated in the Challenger Round and finished 16th overall in the final 2014 point standings.
Almirola has continued his upward projection through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with last year being his best from a statistical standpoint with seven top-10 and a pair of top-5 finishes. It marked his third straight season finishing in the top 20 of the point standings, going from 20th to 18th to 16th during that time.
Prior to joining RPM, Almirola served as an apprentice of sorts with Mark Martin during their days together at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2008. He ran 12 races that season, but never ran more than nine events the next two years as he searched for a full-time opportunity. He ran five races for RPM in 2010 after the departure of Kasey Kahne and was hired one year later for the 2012 campaign.
He enters the 2015 season having one full season under his belt with crew chief Trent Owens, but will face a different dynamic inside RPM with Sam Hornish Jr. now filling the role as teammate after Marcos Ambrose returned to his native Australia.
- Almirola made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in a fourth car for Joe Gibbs Racing at Las Vegas and finished 41st after getting involved in an accident.
- He is credited with one NASCAR Nationwide Series victory (2007) while running with JGR and two in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Billy Ballew (2010).
- Like many of his contemporaries, Almirola began racing go-karts and started when he was eight-years-old before eventually driving open-wheel modifieds at 16.
DID YOU KNOW?
When Almirola won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last season in July at Daytona International Speedway he became the 79th different driver to win with Ford.