● History at Texas: In 21 NASCAR Cup Series starts on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval, Almirola has one top-five, five top-10s, and has led 101 laps.
● All-Star Race History: In four NASCAR All-Star Race starts, Almirola has only finished outside of the top-10 once. In seven All-Star Open or Sprint Showdown exhibition races, he has one win, which came last year at Texas, and has only finished outside of the top-10 once.
● All-Star Race format: The non-points race is comprised of 100 laps, broken into four stages. The new 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race format has provided a major incentive to win any of the opening three stages or the pit stop competition during the break between Stages 2 and 3.
- Stage 1 (25 laps): Stage 1 winner will start on the pole in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stages 2 and 3.
- Stage 2 (25 laps): Stage 2 winner starts second in final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.
- Special Stage Break (Pit Stop Competition): Each team must pit and perform a four-tire stop. The team with the shortest time on pit road (pit in to pit out) wins the pit crew award and the driver will start fourth in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.
- Stage 3 (25 laps): Stage 3 winner starts third in final stage.
- Final Stage (50 laps): Stage 1 winner starts first, Stage 2 winner second, Stage 3 winner third and pit stop competition winner fourth. If no “natural” caution occurs between laps 15 and 25, NASCAR will call an “All-Star” competition caution. Winner of the final stage earns $1 million.
● #BuschBacon: Does winning and Bacon for life ring a bell? In 2018, Almirola won the fall race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, which catapulted him into the next round of the playoffs, all while announcing that one lucky fan would win Bacon for life. This weekend, Busch and Smithfield have upped the ante. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has joined his teammate Kevin Harvick to deliver a lifetime supply of Busch Beer and Smithfield Bacon to the luckiest fan in the history of sponsor promotions. All fans need to do is tune in to FS1’s broadcast of the All-Star Race beginning at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday and follow @BuschBeer. Then, during the fourth lap and the 10th lap of each stage of the All-Star Race, tweet #BuschBacon for a chance to win the most coveted prize mankind has ever known – Busch Beer and Smithfield Bacon for life.
● Points: Almirola sits 12th in the driver standings with 322 points, 153 out of first heading into Sunday night’s non-points event.
● Almirola’s career: In 401 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has earned three wins, 27 top-five finishes, 88 top-10s, three poles, and has led 899 laps.
● One More Time: On Jan. 10,Almirola released a video on his YouTube channel announcing his retirement from fulltime NASCAR Cup Series racing after the 2022 season to spend more time with his family. His opening remarks were attributed to his grandfather’s mentorship. This year marks Almirola’s 11th fulltime Cup Series season. The official press release can be viewed here.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series:In 2022, Almirola is once again sharing his life beyond the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with season three of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. Episodes have already featured life as a dad, a husband and an athlete, and it gives fans a unique perspective on what goes on in the life of a professional NASCAR driver. Fans can also follow Almirola’s social media channels: @Aric_Almirola on Twitter and Instagram, and @AricAlmirola on Facebook.
● Almirola was the only NASCAR Cup Series driver to finish in the top-10 in this year’s opening three races. He finished fifth in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, sixth at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and sixth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Almirola’s top-10 streak ended with a 12th-place finish at Phoenix Raceway despite running inside the top-10 throughout the race.
● Smithfield Foods, Inc., headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Its 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” Smithfield is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. The company has pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including its industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across its entire U.S. value chain by 2030. Smithfield believes in the power of protein to end food insecurity and has donated hundreds of millions of food servings to local communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others.
|Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield #BuschBacon Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:|
| What do you think about this weekend’s #BuschBacon promotion? “Any time we get a chance to give our fans something to root for and something to win is always a cool opportunity. To have partners like Smithfield and Busch who invest in our fan base really helps the entire sport and gives our fans something to engage with during the races. I’m pretty familiar with giving away bacon for life so, hopefully, this collaboration brings us some good luck.” |
What do you think of the new format and how does it feel to not have to race your way into the All-Star Race this year? “The All-Star Race is just a must-see event. It’s a break in the season where the best of the best get to battle it out for a million-dollar check and no consequences. You see drivers give everything they have and truly race for nothing less than a win. The new format rewards you in each stage, too, so not only do we have to race for the win, but we have to race for the win in each stage to give ourselves a shot at the end. In the past, we have had to race our way in, and we were successful at that last year. That is not a fun position to be in, though – knowing that you may go all that way to miss the race. Thankfully, our win in New Hampshire last year has us secured in the big show and I have found a lot of good speed at Texas in the past. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and putting on a show.”