Aric Almirola: The track has a lot more grip, so people are taking a lot more risks.
ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion
That got us a lap down and we were racing the 18 and the 13 for the lucky dog. I couldn’t just ride in line. I needed to make a move to try and get myself in position to be the lucky dog. We were in position for quite a while and got shuffled out. This sucks. We had a really good car, but we’ll rebound from this. We’ll go to Phoenix and get us a win.”
SINCE DELAY WHAT HAS THE RACING BEEN LIKE ON THE TRACK? “It’s been a lot more chaotic for sure. The track has a lot more grip, so people are taking a lot more risks. The cars drive a lot better at night, so two and three-wide is usually not a problem. Everybody was on older tires right there and I think somebody got loose up under me and the next thing I knew I was pounding the fence. It’s tough, but that’s racing at Daytona.”
WHAT HAPPENED AGAIN? “Somebody got loose up under us and ruined our day. That’s part of it. It’s Daytona. We had a really fast Smithfield Ford. Trent made some good calls on our strategy and we were racing up there for the lead. We had a mistake on pit road, where I guess we took the jack down pit road and had to make a stop-and-go. That got us a lap down and we were racing the 18 for the lucky dog and had it for quite some time. We had a really fast car. We were racing for the lead, but we were a lap down. It’s just a shame to have a car that fast and be torn up.”
YOU HIT PRETTY HARD. YOU OK? “Yeah, I’m fine. The car is safe. Everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports does a good job. I’m just heartbroken. I come down here for the Daytona 500 two hours away from home and I always want to run good here, but it never works out. We’ll go to Phoenix and be really good there. I hate it for all the guys on this Smithfield team, but that’s racing.”