Aric Almirola, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media and discussed moving to the Nextel Cup Series, his role at DEI, the U.S. Army sponsorship, Regan Smith's future, the merger of DEI and Ginn Racing, driving for Joe Gibbs...
Aric Almirola, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media and discussed moving to the Nextel Cup Series, his role at DEI, the U.S. Army sponsorship, Regan Smith's future, the merger of DEI and Ginn Racing, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Busch Series, Max Siegel and his relationship with him, the length of his contract with DEI and why he signed for Ginn Racing although he knew they were in financial trouble.
Select quotes from driver interview:
DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHEN YOU ACCEPTED THE DEAL WITH GINN RACING THAT THEY WOULD MERGE WITH DEI? "I didn't know that. I was going to Ginn Racing as far as I knew and I was going to be a partner with Mark Martin and that was what I was excited about. The thing that I was excited about still hasn't changed. I'm still going to drive the No. 01 U.S. Army car with Mark Martin. So that doesn't change for me one bit and I'm still just as excited as I was before. Maybe a little bit more excited."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT PLAYING MUSICAL CHAIRS WITH REGAN SMITH? "That's a tough situation and I don't know the best way to answer that question, really. I wasn't under the impression that all this stuff was going to come about. It wasn't like I went in there and knifed him in the back. We were supposed to be teammates and a week ago we were. Coming to Indy he was driving the No. 14 and Mark was driving the No. 01. Come Watkins Glen he was going to be driving the No. 14 and I was driving the No. 01 and I was excited about that. So I don't feel like there was anything on my part that I could have done any different."
WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE RACING FOR JOE GIBBS RACING IN THE BUSCH SERIES AND RACING FOR DEI IN CUP? "It's awesome. To tell you the truth, I'm getting to race. So it's the one thing that I don't know if people just don't realize or understand, being a young guy in the sport, the only way to get better is to race. So Joe Gibbs racing has given me the opportunity to race and when I took thins opportunity with the Army car and Ginn, which is now DEI, I'm excited about it. I think the whole deal with Joe Gibbs racing let me run the rest of the Busch races I had signed up to do. I tip my hat to them. Because everything that they told me they were going to do from day one they've done. It just worked out to where they didn't have the opportunity for me. We felt like I needed to run a full-time Busch car next year and that really wasn't panning out. So J.D. and Joe both looked at the opportunity I was presented here with Mark and they told me it was a no-brainer. To go and have Mark Martin as a mentor is a pretty silly thing to pass up."
-credit: gm racing