Stock Car Racing

Drivers

#43 Aric Almirola

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Car #43 Ford Fusion
Sponsor Smithfield
Crew Chief Todd Parrott
Hometown Tampa, Fla.
Birthday NOV 15, 2013
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There is no number in the history of NASCAR that has more meaning than the No. 43 and nobody realizes how fortunate he is to be behind the wheel of that iconic number than Aric Almirola.

The Tampa, FL, native has two full seasons under his belt with Richard Petty Motorsports and while signs of progress may not be as fast as he would like, there have been significant gains during his brief tenure.  First and foremost, Almirola moved up two spots in the point standings (from 20th to 18th) in 2013 after posting one top-five and six top-10 finishes.

Almirola found himself in a Chase transfer position as late as Darlington in May when he was ninth, but couldn’t sustain the momentum gained from four straight top-10 efforts leading up to that race.  He mustered a season-best fifth-place finish in the first of two races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, but managed only one more top-10 the rest of the way (10th at Kansas in October).

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 2014 season still looking for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, but has one pole after claiming the top spot for the Coca-Cola 600 in 2012.

  • 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 drove the No. 41 Maurice Petty Tribute Ford Fusion in October at Martinsville last year it marked the first time since October 2003 that the No. 43 was not in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.