NASCAR »

Almirola makes most of Nationwide opportunities

Aric Almirola opened this season driving Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's #8 in the first seven Sprint Cup races before a lack of sponsorship forced the team to park the car.

Almirola was idle for two months before getting back on track in the Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series, where he'll make his second start of 2009 in Saturday's Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis.

“Everybody knew after the Texas Cup race I was looking for something to race,” Almirola said. “I really wanted to be in a car, and I was fortunate enough to get a call from Curtis Key. He had an opportunity for me to run some races. I went over there and looked at his cars and agreed to do it.”

Almirola finished eleventh at Milwaukee in his previous Nationwide start in Key's #40 Chevrolet. Scott Wimmer is the team's regular driver, and he's in the #5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at ORP.

“We're bringing the same car we had at Milwaukee to ORP, and I think we'll have a good car,” Almirola said.

Almirola says ORP's 0.686-mile track is his favourite, and it's also a place where he has experience with four starts, two in the truck series and two in Nationwide. Almirola finished sixth in the Nationwide race in 2007.

“I don't know what it is or why, but when I show up at the racetrack there, I feel like I know what I want and need in the car or truck,” Almirola said. “I have a really good feel for the racetrack. It's a lot of fun to race on. You can pass, you can run two, even three-wide. I don't feel like you can get bottled up behind anyone.

“It's a racer's race-track, a little bullring, flat-out, side-by-side racing. It's unlike any other racetrack that we go to on the NASCAR circuit.”

Almirola will drive for Billy Ballew Motorsports in Friday's truck race at ORP. He has had four starts for Ballew this year and has finished fourth and fifth in the past two races.

“Between the truck and the Nationwide car, we've got a great shot to run well and if things go our way, we might end up in victory lane,” Almirola said.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Aric Almirola [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Green, driver of the #91 SupportMilitary.org Toyota, Matt Dibenedetto, driver of the #40 Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet, Joey Gase, driver of the #52 Chevrolet, and Kevin Swindell, driver of the #93 JGL Racing Dodge, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. gets ready in his office at Road America. June 20 2014. (Photo Credit:  Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. gets himself ready for testing. May 6 2014. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Coleman for NASCAR)
Sam Hornish Jr. at Chicagoland. July 18 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 4, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet, drives a damaged car after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 4, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 4, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 4, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Morton Buildings Chevrolet, lead the field at the start during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 4, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.