CONCORD, N.C. (June 25, 2013) - This weekend Aric Almirola and the No. 43 race team will head to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway for Saturday night's 400-mile event. The team will again be carrying the logos of Eckrich and Operation Homefront on the hood and sides of the Petty Blue Ford.
Eckrich, through their Operation Inspiration program, will be hosting some special guests this weekend. A San Antonio military family will be VIP guests of the team and be surprised with a 'Ride of a Lifetime' this Saturday morning courtesy of Almirola.
Almirola has made six starts at Kentucky Speedway in all three national series. His lone Sprint Cup start came last season when he started 13th and finished 26th after battling a tight condition. In his two Nationwide starts, Almirola posted his best finish (sixth) in 2007 and has an average finish of 13th. He finished in the top-five in two of his three truck series starts, including a best finish of third (2010), and has an average finish of 10th.
Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"Kentucky is an extremely rough race track so it makes it a really big challenge to get your car to get over all the bumps well. We really struggled with that last year, just trying to get our car to drive well and handle well over the bumps. I think that will continue to be the challenge when you go back there - how do we get our car to go over the bumps well and still manage to have a good platform and get the car down on the racetrack.
"We're proud to be hosting the Gallegos family at the track this weekend. We met them earlier this year in San Antonio and surprised them with a new Ford Fusion. They were pretty excited and we wanted to invite them to a race, too. Having them come to Kentucky will be a real honor for our race team. I'm going to give them a ride around the track in the morning with the Richard Petty Driving Experience and then they will have a behind-the-scenes tour of the garage and track, followed by all-access with the No. 43 team. I know I'm looking forward to this weekend. I think they'll have a good time."
Comments from Eckrich Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott:
"Getting over the bumps is the key at Kentucky. You can handle well everywhere else on the track, but if you struggle handling the bumps, you will struggle all race. You really have to get through the bumps without upsetting the car too much on entry into Turn Three. We'll work all weekend to get our car to handle as smooth as possible over the bumps. If we can do that, we will have a good finish. We have shown speed at the intermediate tracks all season, so I expect the same this weekend.
"We will do all we can to get a good finish and move up in the points. We are within arm's reach of the chase. It is such a tight battle. One good or bad day can really affect our position. We have to stay focus and make sure we don't have a bad day, so we can stay in the hunt."
The No. 43 team will race the same chassis they raced at Dover earlier this year.
Richard Petty Motorsports