Richard Petty Motorsports Overton’s 301 Race Report
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Overton’s 301 Results:
1: Denny Hamlin
24: Aric Almirola, No. 43 Smithfield Ford
Aric Almirola returned to the No. 43 Smithfield Ford this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after missing seven races due to a fracture of his T5 Vertebra at Kansas Speedway earlier this year. Almirola started the Overton’s 301 from the 21st spot. The No. 43 Ford started off really tight, and Almirola held the 26th spot at the Competition Caution on Lap 35. Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer called for a four-tire pit stop with major chassis adjustments. He restarted 27th and drove up to 23rd. The team utilized a caution on Lap 69 to employ pit strategy. The team changed four tires and made another chassis adjustment to help the car rotate the center better. They restarted 26th and held the 27th spot at the end of Stage 1 on Lap 75.
Staying out since they pit just eight laps earlier, Almirola restarted 17th. On Lap 90, the No. 3 car spun on the track, and Almirola quickly moved to the outside line to avoid incident. The car was still really tight, but the team wanted track position. They stayed out and restarted 16th. Fresh tires prevailed late in the run, and Almirola finished the second stage in the 21st spot.
The team tried different chassis adjustments during a four-tire stop and started the final stage from the 20th position. He raced in the 20th to 22nd position before green-flag pit stops began. On lap 221, Almirola gave up the 17th spot and pit for four tires and more chassis adjustments. The No. 43 Smithfield Ford fell a lap down as teams used varying strategy. On Lap 263, the team elected to take the Wavearound during what ended up being the final caution of the race. One of a few teams on old tires, Almirola held on to finish 24th on the lead lap.
“It felt really great to be back this weekend,” said Almirola. “As I’ve said all week, being away while my team and my friends raced made me realize how much I really love to race. We hoped to get a better finish, but the team worked hard to make the car turn better in the corner. We kept improving but just didn’t get to where we needed to be. I’m excited to get back after it next weekend at Indy.”
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.