Number 43 Ford
Richard Petty Motorsports
March 14, 1984
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In 2008 Dale Earnhardt Inc. picked him up for twelve races in the #8 car still with the U.S. Army sponsorship on board. He technically lost his rookie eligibility in 2008 with a single top-ten finish in twelve starts that season. Regan Smith won the rookie of the year title in 2008 with thirty-four starts and a season best finish of fourteenth which he achieved twice.
Almirola ran 8 races in 2009 and then nine more in 2010 before skipping the entire 2011 Sprint Cup season in order to focus on the full Nationwide Series campaign.
Almirola was back in Sprint Cup in a big way in 2012 when he finally landed a full-time Sprint Cup series ride with Richard Petty Motorsports to drive the legendary #43 car. He managed one top-five finish in 2012 (Martinsville) and one pole (Coca-Cola 600) on his way to a twentieth place points finish.
2005 - First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Start
2006 - First Full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Season
2006 - First NASCAR Nationwide Series Start
2007 - First NASCAR Nationwide Series Win (Milwaukee) *See Next Section
2007 - First NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start
2010 - First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Win (Dover)
2010 - Best Career Points Finish (2nd NASCAR Camping World Truck Series)
2011 - First Full NASCAR Nationwide Series Season
2012 - First Full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season
*2007 Milwaukee Nationwide Series Win:
In Milwaukee that weekend Aric Almirola was scheduled to qualify the car for Denny Hamlin but Hamlin was to drive in the race. Almirola put the car on the pole as planned but when Hamlin was delayed Almirola was pressed into service to start the race.
On lap fifty-nine Almirola was running third when he was forced to give up the driving duties to Hamlin.
According to NASCAR rules the driver that takes the green flag is the official driver of record for the race. So officially Aric Almirola lead 107 laps that day and won the race even though Almirola never saw the checkered flag and wasn't even still at the race track when Hamlin was celebrating in Victory Lane.
Aric Almirola made his debut in the top NASCAR touring series (Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series, Sprint Cup Series) in 2005 but Almirola has bounced around so that 2012 marked just his fourth full season in any of the top three series.
Almirola has driven for legendary car owners like Joe Gibbs, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Nationwide Series. His Sprint Cup career has spanned car owners such as Joe Gibbs, Theresa Earnhardt, James Finch and Richard Petty.
Now that he has finally settled into a full-time Sprint Cup Series ride Aric Almirola is finally starting to make a name for himself in NASCAR. His 2012 stats showed steady improvement as he was bringing the car back in one piece which allowed the team to continue to improve as well.
Aric Almirola should continue to move up in the Sprint Cup standings. Is he going to make the Chase? Probably not any time soon with his existing team but he could become a threat to win a race more often.