Almirola strong at short tracks like Richmond

Richard Petty Motorsports driver hopes to make waves this weekend

Aric Almirola (above) and the No. 43 Smithfield Foods team have proved they are a force to be reckoned with at short tracks this season. The team currently has an average finish of 8.6 at tracks one mile or less. They head to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway poised to continue that success and look to head to Victory Lane at Smithfield Foods' home track.

Almirola has nine NASCAR starts at the .75-mile track, including four Sprint Cup Series starts. Last spring, Almirola and the No. 43 team scored an eighth-place finish, his career-best Sprint Cup finish at the track. He scored his best NASCAR finish at the track in 2011 when he brought home a seventh-place finish in the Nationwide race.

"The fun thing about Richmond is that the tires fall off really bad," said the Richard Petty Motorsports driver. "You get slipping and sliding around and forward drive is really important. It's the one race track we go to that you wish you didn't have 900 horsepower. Halfway through a tire run, we literally can spin the tires at the flag stand. That just becomes a huge challenge. It's a fun racetrack. You really have to focus on your setup there and get it right. We've really hit on our short track setups this year and shown a lot of speed. If we can keep that up this weekend, we will be able to make a run at a win.

"Richmond is Smithfield Foods' home track since they are just up the road in Smithfield, Virginia. It's a big deal for our team to run good here for them. We would love to be able to win a race here. They are going to have a lot of people out this weekend, so I hope we can put on a good show and celebrate with them in victory lane."

Richard Petty Motorsports

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags almirola, aric, nascar, richamond, richard petty, smithfield