Monster Energy NASCAR Cup No. 43 Team News

March 7, 2017

No. 43 Smithfield Team Looks to Improve at Vegas

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Foods Ford, drives during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 59th Annual DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

No. 43 Smithfield Team Looks to Improve at Vegas

Almirola and Team Continuing to Work on Intermediate Program


Weekend Statistics and Notes

Atlanta Motor Speedway was the No. 43 Smithfield team’s first on-track test of their intermediate track program after the team worked on improvements in the off-season. Unfortunately, the car didn’t handle as well as the team hoped. They worked throughout the weekend, and Almirola said they scratched the service of improvement near the end of the race. The team will take those notes to Vegas and work on improving the car for Sunday’s race.

Almirola has eight starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last season, he started seventh but experienced a vibration early on and finished 24th.

Almirola will once again perform double duty this weekend in the No. 98 Ford with Biagi DenBeste Racing. Almirola has just three XFINITY starts at the 1.5-mile track and scored his best finish of 11th in 2015.



Fans can celebrate #KINGs80th in the Neon Garage Friday. Richard Petty will stop by and answer a few questions before blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.

When: Friday, March 10, 2 p.m.

Where: Las Vegas Motor Speedway Neon Garage


Prior to the Monster Energy Series race, Almirola and Petty will judge the Smithfield Grill Master Challenge. The new competition will feature three competitors who will be chosen at random. The competitors will be given 90 minutes to prepare the dish of their choice featuring two Smithfield products and be provided with a pantry full of a variety of ingredients, spices, and sauces to use for their dish. They will also be provided with a grill and grill tools to prepare their dish. They will be judged on originality and creativity; oral presentation and visual appearance.

When: Sunday, March 12, 9:45 a.m.

Where: Smithfield Display in the Fanzone


Weekend Chatter

“It’s no secret that Atlanta did not go the way we hoped. We worked really hard in the off-season to improve our intermediate track program. Unfortunately, we were off on the handling last weekend, but the guys worked hard to improve the car, and we got a little better near the end of the race. We’ll start there for Vegas and continue to work hard to improve our intermediate track program. Vegas is a really tough track with a lot of bumps. It’s hard to get the car low to the ground there, and the aggressive bumps make it hard to get a handle throughout the race. We’ll keep working at it and get the best finish we can.”


About Richard Petty Motorsports

A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields one team in competition in the NASCAR premier series with driver Aric Almirola. Almirola will return to the iconic No. 43 Ford with partners Smithfield Foods, STP, United States Air Force and Fresh From Florida. The team is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.