Almirola Looking to Snap Bad Luck Woes for Army Team PHOENIX (Nov. 7, 2007)-- Aric Almirola will make his fifth Nextel Cup start for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Sunday,driving the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet in the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix ...
Almirola Looking to Snap Bad Luck Woes for Army Team
PHOENIX (Nov. 7, 2007)-- Aric Almirola will make his fifth Nextel Cup start for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Sunday,driving the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet in the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
The 23-year-old rookie,who co-drives the 01 ride with veteran Mark Martin, is looking to snap a streak of bad luck for the Army team, which includes disappointing results in four of the past five races.
A mechanical problem in Talladega and an accident in Martinsville sidelined Almirola. And in the last two Cup races -- Atlanta and Texas -- Martin was the victim of multicar wrecks.
"No question, we've been on the wrong side of the luck cycle," said Almirola. "It's due to change and we're going to go out there not even thinking about all of the recent bad breaks that have hit this team. The focus is about having a strong performance in Phoenix."
Almirola, who has always had a fondness for the one-mile Phoenix track, is optimistic about ending his 2007 Cup schedule on a positive note. "This is my last scheduled Cup ride of the season and I want to end the year with a strong finish," said Almirola. "If trouble doesn't find us, I think we can come away with a pretty good performance at Phoenix."
"A solid result Sunday not only can make the off-season more enjoyable, but it also gives you a big morale boost heading into next year," added Almirola. "And speaking of next year, I am really excited about returning to the 01 Army team and co-driving the soldiers' car with Mark."
Though Almirola has never raced a Cup event at Phoenix, he has had experience at the desert track in both the Busch and Trucks series. His best finish was 13th in last year's fall Busch race.
"Phoenix is not only a challenging track, but it's also a fun place to race at," offered Almirola. "I like the one-mile tracks and that's one of the reasons I feel confident about this weekend."