CONCORD, N.C. (July 2, 2013) - On the weekend that our country celebrates the Fourth of July, Aric Almirola would like to bring that celebration to Victory Lane at the World's Center of Racing and America's most iconic track, Daytona International Speedway. Almirola will race with the U.S. Air Force on the hood of the No. 43 Ford. In the Daytona 500 earlier this season, Almirola posted his best finish at Daytona International Speedway in the Sprint Cup Series with a 13th-place finish.

Almirola will make his ninth start, fifth in Cup, at his 'home track' this weekend. In his four Cup starts, he tallied a best finish of 13th earlier this season in the Daytona 500, and in four Nationwide starts, he posted one top-10 finish and won a pole.

Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle
Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

No. 43 Air Force Ford Crew Chief Todd Parrott has 29 Daytona races under his belt as a crew chief. Parrott won his first race as crew chief in the 1996 Daytona 500 with Dale Jarrett behind the wheel. With Jarrett, he scored two more wins in 1999 and 2000. Over the 29 races, he has 10 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes and three poles.

Comments from Air Force Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:

"We weren't really happy with our cars for the 500. We made some improvements on the car for Talladega and had a lot better car. Todd (Parrott) and the 43 team have learned a lot about the bodies of these Gen-6 cars and what we can do to make our aero-package better. We want to go in the direction we went for Talladega, so I feel really good about the speedway car we are going to have this weekend. Hopefully, we will stay out of wreck and be in contention for the win at the end. I think it will be really important to be in the top-five, even two, in the closing laps to get to victory lane this weekend.

"It is so special to have Air Force on the car this Fourth of July weekend. All year, we work with the Air Force and NASCAR's America Salutes campaign to give back to military, and it is really special to represent the Air Force during one of America's biggest weekends. Military men and woman work hard all year so we have the freedom to celebrate this weekend and race every weekend. I'm just glad I have a job where I have the opportunity to give back, and hopefully this weekend, I can do that in Victory Lane."

Comments from Air Force Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott:

"We have worked really hard on our speedway cars this season. We weren't happy with the aero-package in Daytona in February. We put our heads together and made some changes for Talladega which helped in the draft. Our car was better but not in contention for the win, so we continued to work on the package. I think we will come off the truck better than we did at Talladega and have a chance to put the Air Force in Victory Lane this weekend."

Chassis History:

The No. 43 team will race the chassis No. 722 this weekend. The team raced the chassis in February's Sprint Unlimited expedition race.

Richard Petty Motorsports