Loudon: Aric Almirola preview

Almirola Happy About Returning to Roots LOUDON, N.H. (June 24, 2008) -- After a challenging weekend on a curving road course, Aric Almirola will be going to a more familiar setting, driving the No. 8 U.S. Army Chevrolet at the one-mile oval at...

Almirola Happy About Returning to Roots

LOUDON, N.H. (June 24, 2008) -- After a challenging weekend on a curving road course, Aric Almirola will be going to a more familiar setting, driving the No. 8 U.S. Army Chevrolet at the one-mile oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Sunday's Sprint Cup race --LENOX Industrial Tools 301 -- is the type of track where the 24-year-old Almirola cut his teeth while racing as a teenager in Florida.

Almirola has also demonstrated in his brief professional career that the one mile or less have suited his racing style. He has competed at two half-mile tracks this year, finishing eighth at the Bristol Cup race in March, and claiming the third qualifying position the following week in Martinsville.

Last year while competing part-time in the Nationwide Series, he co-won the race at the Milwaukee Mile with Denny Hamlin and finished sixth at the .686-mile Indianapolis Raceway Park. Sunday's race will also be Almirola's first Cup start at New Hampshire. His only experience at the Magic Mile is a trio of Craftsman Truck races with a best finish of eighth in 2005.

"After the Sonoma road course, the New Hampshire track is like going back to my roots," said Almirola, who will make his fifth Cup start of the season and 11th of his career. "The flat short tracks suit my style and I can't wait to only turn left for the entire race."

Almirola wants to enjoy the New Hampshire weekend because his next Cup start will be back to turning left and right -- at the Aug. 10th road race in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

"It's like I have a one-weekend reprieve," offered Almirola, whose first career Cup road race was in Sonoma last week. "Actually, I was starting to get the hang of road racing so there is a side of me looking forward to Watkins Glen.

"But before we get to the Glen, my focus is all on New Hampshire. I really feel good about this weekend and can't wait to jump in the Army Chevy. I have a great team behind me and that bolsters my confidence even more."

Almirola is sharing the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. ride with Mark Martin, who will return to action next week in Daytona.

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Denny Hamlin , Aric Almirola , Mark Martin