No. 10 Smithfield Ford Racing: Aric Almirola Michigan Advance

Michigan Advance
No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

Event Overview

● Event: FireKeepers Casino 400 (Round 24 of 36)

● Time/Date: 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Aug. 6

● Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn

● Layout: 2-mile oval

● Laps/Miles: 200 laps/400 miles

● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 45 laps / Stage 2: 75 laps / Final Stage: 80 laps

● TV/Radio: USA / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Notes of Interest

● History at Michigan: In 19 NASCAR Cup series starts at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Aric Almirola has two top-10 finishes and 13 laps led. He has three NASCAR Xfinity series starts there with a best finish of eighth, and has one win in the NASCAR Truck series in only two starts, the win coming in June 2010.

● Last weekend at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Almirola battled from 24th to a solid eighth-place finish. It was his ninth top-10 at Richmond and second of the season.

● While Almirola is seeking a victory in the NASCAR Cup Series to catapult him into the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs, he raced his way to victory lane June 10 in the Xfinity Series race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

● Driver Points: Almirola arrives at Michigan 24th in the driver standings, 384 points out of first.

● Almirola’s career: In 446 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 93 top-10s, five poles, and has led 1,068 laps.

● Smithfield has been a sponsor of Almirola’s for the entirety of his fulltime NASCAR Cup Series career – making it one of the longest-lasting partnerships in NASCAR. Smithfield is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Its 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” Smithfield is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. The company has pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including its industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across its entire U.S. value chain by 2030. Smithfield believes in the power of protein to end food insecurity and has donated hundreds of millions of food servings to local communities.

● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series:In 2023, Almirola is continuing to share his life beyond the No. 10 Ford with season five of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. Episodes have already featured life as a dad, a husband and an athlete, and the show gives fans a unique perspective on what goes on in the life of a professional NASCAR driver. Fans can also follow Almirola’s social media channels: @Aric_Almirola on Twitter and Instagram, and @AricAlmirola on Facebook.

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Do you feel confident heading to Michigan?

“Michigan is always a weird place for me because, in my mind, I feel like I run well there. I won a Truck race there years ago and, from that point forward, I just always loved going to Michigan. My wife’s family is from Michigan, so I go to Michigan with such a great attitude. We have had a few top-five cars at Michigan and didn’t execute and things didn’t go our way with the restarts and I didn’t get the result, so I’m confident this 10 team can bring us a fast car. I’m excited about going back. Going to Michigan, there’s always a lot of pride for the manufacturers. I’d love to go there and keep the trophy in Ford’s backyard.”

The No. 10 team brought a top-five car to Richmond last weekend. Is that a trend in the right direction to capitalize on a win before the playoffs begin?

“Every time we bring fast cars, it lights a fire in the team and gives us a lot of confidence moving forward. It’s great timing heading into this last stretch when you’re in a must-win situation to make the playoffs.”

Can you take anything from the longer, faster tracks like Fontana and Pocono and apply that to Michigan?

“We came out of the gate with speed at Fontana this year but were caught up in a wreck during a restart and didn’t get to see how that car would play out. Pocono was a good one for us. We didn’t start the race great but ended up with speed toward the end of the race and finished 12th. I think we have the ability to get the speed we need to compete up front at Michigan. We unfortunately got caught up in a wreck at Michigan early in the race last year. We should have been in position but we just got taken out of the race. We’re heading to Michigan without having run a full race in the NextGen car, but knowing we’re capable of adapting all race to make the car better.”

No. 10 Smithfield Ford Team Roster

Primary Team Members

Driver: Aric Almirola

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer

Hometown: Decatur, Illinois

Car Chief: Jerry Cook

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

Lead Engineer: Lee Deese

Hometown: Rockingham, North Carolina

Engineer: James Kimbrough

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida

Spotter: Joel Edmonds

Hometown: Dobson, North Carolina

Over-The-Wall Members

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux Center, Iowa

Rear Tire Changer: Trevor White

Hometown: Arlington, Texas

Tire Carrier: Tyler Bullard

Hometown: King, North Carolina

Jack Man: Sean Cotton

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Fuel Man: James “Ace” Keener

Hometown: Fortuna, California

Road Crew Members

Mechanic: Chris Trickett

Hometown: Grafton, West Virginia

Mechanic: Jacob Cooksey

Hometown: Westbrookville, New York

Engine Tuner: Matt Moeller

Hometown: Monroe, New York

Tire Specialist: Russel Simpson

Hometown: Medford, New York

Transporter Co-Driver: Steven Casper

Hometown: Salisbury, North Carolina

Transporter Co-Driver: Matt Murphy

Hometown: Augusta, Georgia

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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