CONCORD, N.C. (June 18 2013) - Aric Almirola will hit the twists and turns of wine country at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. The Tampa, Fla., native looks to move the No. 43 Farmland Ford into the top-10 in points by tallying his career-best road course finish.
Almirola has two starts at the 1.99-mile road course and finished 28th in both events. After a two-day test with teammate Marcos Ambrose earlier this season, Almirola feels he can top his best road course finish of 18th, which he tallied at Watkins Glen last season. Veteran Crew Chief Todd Parrott has 15 starts at the 10-turn track. He has posted two top-fives, seven top-10s, one pole and has an average finish of 15.1 in those 10 starts. Dale Jarrett posted Parrott's best finish of fourth in 1997.
Farmland Foods will announce another cash and protein donation, this time to the Redwood Empire Food Bank, after Sunday's race as part of an expanding effort by the company to raise awareness of hunger issues around the country. The announcement follows more than $80,000 in donations in Phoenix; Las Vegas; Fontana, Calif.; and Kansas City, Mo., earlier this year as part of Farmland's partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports to promote hunger awareness in race communities.
"I haven't looked forward to going to Sonoma in the past, but I'm actually really looking forward to going out there this weekend. We did a two-day test and thought that it went really well. I'm excited to see how much I improved there after the test. While we were out there for two days, I made huge improvements as a road racer. I feel like we made steps in the right direction.
"Marcos (Ambrose) has been a huge asset for my learning curve as a road racer. I learn so much from him that it is hard to process it all. Marcos is one of the great road racers around the world. He's proven that in NASCAR. He's led a lot of laps at road courses, so there is a lot that I can learn from him."
Comments from Farmland Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott:
"I think after the test our whole team is excited to go to Sonoma to see where we compare to the field. Aric showed a lot of improvement over the two days we were there. It really helps us that RPM works as a team. This weekend, working together will really help us get a better handle on the car for Aric. Marcos knows how these cars need to feel to get around fast and can really help us hit the ground running when we unload on Friday."
The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 760 for Sonoma.
Richard Petty Motorsports