CONCORD, N.C. - With an eye on a Chase spot, Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team are focusing on a solid finish this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Almirola has five Sprint Cup Series starts at the New England track. He posted his best finish of 18th in the September 2008 event. He also has one Nationwide start, where he started fourth and finished fifth, and five truck series starts at the mile-track.
Veteran Crew Chief Todd Parrott has 29 starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In his nearly 30 starts, he has one win, six top-fives, 14 top-10s and an average finish of 16.9.
Aric Almirola: "I've always enjoyed going to New Hampshire. I love that area. It's beautiful country. The track has always been one of my favorites. This weekend we just need to have a good finish. Hopefully, we can learn some stuff through the Ford camp to help us. Roush went here to test, and we're going to lean on those notes.
"It's a flat racetrack, one of the flattest we go to. The corners are extremely long. It feels like you are in them forever, so you have to have a good handling car to get off the corners.
You want to get back into the gas early, and you have to handle well to be able to do that. It is really important to get your car rotated early in the corner, so you can get back in the gas and make those corners as straight as possible.
"Last week was really disappointing for us in the points. We are going to have to really focus and get some top-fives, top-10s and win a race to be able to get in the Chase now. We haven't lost sight of our shot to make the Chase."
Todd Parrott, Smithfield Ford Fusion Crew Chief : "Loudon has long straightaways and really tight turns. Brakes are very important and we have to be careful we don't overuse the brakes. It's a short race in terms of miles, but it is a very hard race on the car and equipment.
The biggest problem we fight at New Hampshire is being tight in the center of the corners. If we can get the car to handle well in the center then we should be in good shape. We need to bounce back in the points this weekend to stay in the hunt for the chase, so a solid finish is really important for us."
Richard Petty Motorsports