Stock Car Racing


#43 Aric Almirola

Car #43 Ford Fusion
Sponsor Smithfield
Crew Chief Trent Owens
Hometown Tampa, Fla.
Birthday NOV 15, 2013

Aric Almirola has achieved a number of firsts since joining Richard Petty Motorsports and he’s hoping to turn them into seconds as he embarks on his fifth season with the organization.

The previous four years have seen him become the first Cuban-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when he took the checkered flag in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in 2014, win the first pole of his career in 2012 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and qualify for the Chase (2014). 

Consistency is something Almirola has stressed the last couple of years and the statistics show he and his team are achieving that goal.  They have increased their number of top-5 finishes each of the last three years while having a similar number of top-10 efforts during that same period.

Last season, Almirola had three top-5 performances with two of those being fifth-place finishes at Dover, in addition to a fourth-place run in the second Richmond race.  His average finish of 17.9 was the best of his career and he ended up 17th in the final point standings.

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.

This will be Almirola’s second full season with crew chief Trent Owens, but it will also mark the second time in as many years he’ll have a new teammate.

· 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 XFINITY 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.


When Almirola won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2014 at Daytona International Speedway he became the 79th different driver to win with Ford.