Richard Petty Motorsports
AAA Texas 500 Race Report
Texas Motor Speedway
AAA Texas 500 Race Results:
1: Kevin Harvick
15: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford
Richard Petty Motorsports left the great state of Texas with a Top-15 finish after Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team scored their best finish since 2014 at the Ft. Worth oval.
After making chassis adjustments early in the race, the team was fast throughout the day. Almirola started 18th and was 25th before the team’s first pit stop. After the stop for adjustments, Almirola was able to move up to 21st to end Stage 1. The team did fall one lap down, but took the “wave around” to get back on the Lead Lap to start Stage 2.
The team needed a caution to cycle back with the leaders. That caution came on the restart, and Almirola was back racing hard in the 17th position. The Smithfield Ford showed speed and Almirola climbed to 15th throughout Stage 2. The team fell one lap down and just missed being the “Lucky Dog” on the last lap of the stage, finishing 16th.
Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer once again called for a wave around to get back on the Lead Lap to start the final stage. On Lap 179, an accident allowed the Smithfield team to once again pit with the leaders. During the stop, the team had to change the steering wheel after the electronics that controlled the track bar malfunctioned. The team made the switch and later secured the wiring to fix the issue.
Almirola fell back to 21st, but two cautions allowed Almirola to eventually take one last wave around and to restart 16th with 50 laps left. Almirola raced back to 15th, but was just too tight to pass for the 14th spot in the final laps.
“It was a long race, but the Smithfield crew worked hard,” said Almirola. “I appreciate the effort and keeping our car pretty fast all day. We had to change the steering wheel to fix the track bar, and that lost us some ground, but we rebounded. We now have two more races left to keep finishing strong.”
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 wheels 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.