● Last weekend at Martinsville (Virginia) SpeedwayAlmirola started second, earned 10 stage points and finished eighth for his fourth top-10 finish of the year.
● History of dirt racing: Almirola had seven starts beginning in 2006 at the Prelude to the Dream charity event that Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart organized from 2005 to 2012 at his half-mile dirt oval at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Almirola scored a best result of third and had four top-10 finishes in those six starts. Almirola also won an exhibition race at the Talladega (Ala.) Short Track.
● Almirola’s experience in the first Bristol Dirt Race Last year it didn’t last long. He started 23rd and began running better lap times than most entrants on lap 20. On lap 39, his No. 10 Ford SHR and Stewart Friesen’s No. 77 made contact. The contact sent Almirola into a large mound of dirt at the bottom of the track, spinning the No. 10 SHR Ford into the center lane. Almirola’s race car was hit by multiple cars, ending his day.
● A little known fact: Almirola began his sports career on land. He raced go-karts at Dirt Devil Speedway in Land O’Lakes, Florida, which was built and owned by his grandfather Sam Rodriguez, who was a well-known dirt sprint car racer. Almirola not only began his career as a dirt track pilot, he learned valuable lessons on how to operate a dirt track from the ages of 11 to 18.
● Points: Almirola enters Martinsville eighth in the drivers’ standings with 223 points, 65 out of first. He moved up three positions from the previous race weekend.
● Almirola’s career: In 396 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has three wins, 27 top fives, 88 top 10s, three pole positions and led 899 laps.
● Almirola was the only NASCAR Cup Series driver to finish in the top 10 in the first three races this year. He finished fifth in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, sixth at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and sixth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Almirola’s top-10 streak ended with a 12th-place finish at Phoenix Raceway despite being inside the top-10 for the entire race.
● Cummins wI will serve as the “alpha” sponsor of the No. 10 Ford Mustang this weekend at Bristol. Indiana-based Cummins, of the hometown of Columbus, automobile owner Tony Stewart, is a corporation of complementary business segments that designs, manufactures, distributes and services a broad portfolio of power solutions. It is best known for its truck diesel engines. Since its founding in 1919, Cummins now employs approximately 61,600 people and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 8,000 wholly owned and independent dealer and distributor locations.
● Rush Truck Centers will also grace the No. 10 Ford in Bristol this weekend. All SHR cars travel from race to race on trucks from Rush Truck Centers, the leading provider of service solutions for the commercial vehicle industry. And those carriers are backed by the RushCare team of parts and service experts, who also provide concierge-level service and maintenance, technical support, schedule mobile service, dispatch roadside assistance, help locate the nearest dealer and plus. Rush Truck Centers is the largest commercial vehicle dealer network in the United States with 139 locations, and prides itself on its integrated approach to customer needs, from vehicle sales to parts, service and body shop operations. , as well as financing, insurance, leasing and rental, as well as alternative fuel systems and other vehicle technologies.
● One more time: On January 10, Almirola posted a video to his YouTube channel announcing his retirement from full-time NASCAR Cup Series racing after the 2022 season to spend more time with his family. This year marks Almirola’s 11th full-time Cup Series season. The official press release can be viewed here.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube series:In 2022, Almirola returns to share his life beyond the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with the third season of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. The episodes have already featured life as a father, husband and athlete, giving 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.