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Almirola Makes First Road Course Start of 2017

Looks to Top Career-Best Road Course Finish of 14th in No. 43 Smithfield Ford

Missing the race at Sonoma Raceway due to injury, Aric Almirola makes his first and only road course start this season at Watkins Glen International (WGI). His favorite of the two road course races, he looks to top his best road course finish of 14th which he posted in 2015 at Sonoma Raceway. The No. 43 Smithfield team will utilize notes from last year as well as from Sonoma last June to get a good start for the weekend. Almirola will tap into the knowledge he got from past teammate and WGI winner Marcos Ambrose.

Almirola has six Monster Energy Series and one XFINITY Series start at Watkins Glen International. He posted his best Monster Energy Series start of 15th in 2008 and finish of 16th in 2015. In his lone XFINITY start at the road course, he started 17th and finished eighth. Earlier this season, IMSA Ford driver Billy Johnson filled in for the injured Almirola at Sonoma Raceway. He piloted the No. 43 Smithfield Ford from a 26th-place start to a 22nd-place finish.

“I like Watkins Glen. It’s definitely my favorite road course on the schedule. It’s much harder to pass at Sonoma. I learned a lot from Marcos (Ambrose) while he was a teammate and feel I can use that to my advantage this weekend. This will be my first road course race of the season, so it will be interesting to see how things have changed since last year. We’re definitely looking for redemption from last weekend’s accident on the first lap and hopefully will get another solid finish.”

No. 43 Smithfield Ford
A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields one team in competition in the NASCAR premier series with driver Aric Almirola. Almirola will return to the iconic No. 43 Ford with partners Smithfield Foods, STP, United States Air Force and Fresh From Florida. The team is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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