NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
R
Daytona Clash
08 Feb
-
09 Feb
Next event in
18 days
08 Feb
-
16 Feb
Next event in
18 days
R
Las Vegas
21 Feb
-
23 Feb
Next event in
31 days
R
Fontana
28 Feb
-
01 Mar
Next event in
38 days
R
Phoenix
06 Mar
-
08 Mar
Next event in
45 days
R
Atlanta
13 Mar
-
15 Mar
Next event in
52 days
R
Homestead
20 Mar
-
22 Mar
Next event in
59 days
R
27 Mar
-
29 Mar
Next event in
66 days
R
Bristol
03 Apr
-
05 Apr
Next event in
73 days
R
Richmond
17 Apr
-
19 Apr
Next event in
87 days
R
Talladega
24 Apr
-
26 Apr
Next event in
94 days
R
01 May
-
03 May
Next event in
101 days
R
Martinsville
07 May
-
09 May
Next event in
107 days
R
All-Star
15 May
-
16 May
Next event in
115 days
R
Charlotte
22 May
-
24 May
Next event in
122 days
R
29 May
-
31 May
Next event in
129 days
R
Michigan
05 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
136 days
R
12 Jun
-
14 Jun
Next event in
143 days
R
Chicagoland
19 Jun
-
21 Jun
Next event in
150 days
R
26 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
157 days
R
Indianapolis
03 Jul
-
05 Jul
Next event in
164 days
R
Kentucky
09 Jul
-
11 Jul
Next event in
170 days
R
17 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
178 days
R
Michigan II
07 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
199 days
R
Watkins Glen
14 Aug
-
16 Aug
Next event in
206 days
R
Dover II
21 Aug
-
23 Aug
Next event in
213 days
R
Daytona II
27 Aug
-
29 Aug
Next event in
219 days
R
Darlington
04 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
227 days
R
Richmond II
10 Sep
-
12 Sep
Next event in
233 days
R
Bristol II
17 Sep
-
19 Sep
Next event in
240 days
R
Las Vegas II
25 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
248 days
R
Talladega II
02 Oct
-
04 Oct
Next event in
255 days
R
Charlotte II
09 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
262 days
R
Kansas II
16 Oct
-
18 Oct
Next event in
269 days
R
Texas II
23 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
276 days
R
Martinsville II
30 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
283 days
R
Phoenix II
06 Nov
-
08 Nov
Next event in
290 days

Passing the test: Almirola looks to improve RPM's intermediate program

shares
comments
Passing the test: Almirola looks to improve RPM's intermediate program
By:
Mar 12, 2015, 3:26 PM

The driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford sees promise with 2016 Sprint Cup rules package

Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Goodyear tires
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
Goodyear tires in the rain
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Goodyear tires in the rain
Trent Owens and Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

PHOENIX – Aric Almirola put in a lot of seat time over the last two days at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The driver of the No. 43 Smithfield Ford logged laps for Goodyear on Tuesday with Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr. and J.J. Yeley and then used the control tire at an open test on Wednesday.

Almirola hopes the two-day test helps him get up to speed for May.

“We’ve just been running through a lot of setup things and a lot of aero stuff and a lot of things that we kind of came up with over the winter and we’ve had a lot of questions about, whether they were gonna be better or not,” Almirola said. “It’s hard when the wind tunnel tells you one thing sometimes the race track agrees and sometimes it doesn’t, so we’ve just been kind of validating some stuff on the race track that we’ve seen in the wind tunnel. 

“We’ve been kind of validating some stuff that we’ve been seeing in our new simulation software and kind of correlating that to the real world aspect at the race track.  It’s been a great test for us as far as those things are concerned.”

Expediting the learning curve

In the first two intermediate track races of the season, Almirola finished 11th at Atlanta Motor Speedway and 26th last weekend at Las Vegas following a pit road speeding penalty and plowing into the back of Brad Keselowski, who checked up to avoid the incident between Kahne and Carl Edwards.

At Charlotte, Almirola’s average finish is 19.5 but he won the pole for the 2012 Coca-Cola 600 and posted a career-high 11th-place finish at the track last May.

Almirola, who qualified for the Chase last year, made solid gains on 1.5-mile tracks last season, but NASCAR introduced a new rules package for this season which the team is still working to get dialed in.

He and the other drivers spent half of Tuesday's test working on modifications for 2016 Generation 6 cars. The teams will have the option to run the 2016 package in the All-Star race at Charlotte to offer NASCAR a better understanding as to how the car races in competition.

The cars didn’t have as much grip.

Aric Almirola

“From my seat the 2016 package has a smaller splitter, a smaller radiator pan, so essentially less front downforce, and then a smaller rear spoiler, essentially less rear downforce, so just total less downforce and I guess it’s pretty even according to NASCAR,” Almirola said.  “We have not had a car in the wind tunnel with the 2016 rules package yet, so this is all just purely based on the information we’ve been given from NASCAR from their technical studies. 

“But it was just kind of an even total less downforce, not less front, not less rear shift, but just total less downforce and it kind of felt like that on the race track.  The cars didn’t have as much grip.  We were going about six or seven miles an hour faster at the end of the straightaway at the end of the straightaway than the 2015 package, but we were about 9-10 miles an hour slower in the middle of the corner. 

“So from that aspect I liked that.  I think all the drivers are kind of wanting to go slower in the middle of the corner, not slower than our competition, but just slower in general because that helps Goodyear bring a tire that lives longer.”

Where the rubber meets the road

Almirola says the rising speeds in the center of the corner put additional loads on the tires and increases the amount of heat which has been problematic for Goodyear in the past. Almirola believes the progress NASCAR is making with the Generation 6 cars will alleviate some of the pressure on the tire manufacturer.

The 2016 package, slipped and slid around the race track a little bit more, which I was perfectly fine with, and I think it has the potential to put on a really good race.

Aric Almirola

“If we can continue down this road with our rules package and continue to get the center of the corner speeds down to where we have to let all the way off the gas and use some brake and those kind of things, I think it will open up a big window for Goodyear to be able to bring a more softer tire with more grip that wears out and it’s gonna be durable as well,” Almirola said. 

“I’m excited about it.  I thought overall the car, when we went to the 2016 package, slipped and slid around the race track a little bit more, which I was perfectly fine with, and I think it has the potential to put on a really good race and I guess we’ll find out soon enough.”

Next article
Kurt Busch rides again

Previous article

Kurt Busch rides again

Next article

Harvick heads to top track poised to extend streak of dominance

Harvick heads to top track poised to extend streak of dominance
Load comments