● History at Homestead-Miami Speedway: In 12 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead, Almirola has earned two top-fives and four top-10s.
● 2022 Season: Through 33 races, Almirola has earned two top-five finishes, seven top-10s, and has led 81 laps. He also qualified on the pole for the first time this season at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in September. His average finish of 17.7 and seven top-10s this season have bettered his totals for all 36 points-paying races in 2021.
● Driver Points: Almirola arrives at Homestead 20th in the driver standings with 704 points.
● Almirola’s career: In 421 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has earned three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 91 top-10s, four poles, and has led 974 laps.
● Everything is better with bacon! That’s why Smithfield and Dixie Vodka are teaming up to host the Best Bacon Bloody Mary Party that NASCAR fans have ever seen. On Sunday, fans can stop by the Dixie Vodka activation zone at the track to enjoy a delicious Bloody Mary featuring Dixie Black Pepper Vodka. And to make their Bloody Mary even better and bolder, fans will have the opportunity to garnish their beverage with Smithfield’s NEW premium Double Thick Double Smoked Bacon Lover’s Bacon. Smithfield’s new premium Double Thick Double Smoked Bacon Lover’s Bacon is slow-smoked and cured to perfection with a 50-percent longer smoke cycle featuring two types of wood and a thicker slice, which makes it a bacon lover’s dream. It’s the perfect addition to a Bloody Mary. Head over to Smithfield.com for recipe inspiration and make sure to follow the brand on Instagram at @Smithfieldbrand.
● Ever wanted to be behind the wheel of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang? Well now it’s possible – virtually, that is. Fans can head over to www.Smithfieldraceface.com to explore the augmented reality app where fans can wear Almirola’s helmet and firesuit. Snap a photo and tag @Aric_Almirola on social media for a chance to be featured.
● Back for More: Earlier this year, Almirola announced that he would step down from fulltime racing following the 2022 season.Through the course of the year, Almirola has discovered a new balance between his passion for racing and dedication to his family. His wife Janice, and kids Alex and Abby, join him on most race weekends, oftentimes enjoying once-in-a-lifetime experiences together as they travel the country. His rapport with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer has flourished, and the intense pressure he had put on himself was replaced with the joy of simply being present. Not only did Almirola see a new perspective on the sport, but so did anchor partner Smithfield Foods, who broached the subject of Almirola returning to fulltime racing in 2023. On Aug. 26, Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Smithfield Foods announced his return with a multi-year agreement and the largest allotment of races since joining the team in 2018.
● 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. Almirola’s top-10 streak ended with a 12th-place finish at Phoenix Raceway despite running inside the top-10 throughout the race.
What does racing at Homestead over the years mean to you?
“Homestead for me has been a great racetrack. It’s really how I got my start to go Cup racing. I filled in for Richard Petty Motorsports back in 2010 and I finished fourth after running up front. That opened some people’s eyes. Sure enough, I got my first start in the Cup Series because of it.”
Do any of the other intermediate tracks prepare you for Homestead?
“There are some takeaways, but I think it’s going to be a whole new set of learning this weekend. You know you have to run the top and there are different lanes than the tracks we have run this year. You saw some guys running the wall in Vegas and you saw that the car could take a little more beating, so I think you’re going to see a lot of guys pushing it up on the wall.”
You’re going to interact with the fans a lot this weekend. How much do you enjoy the fan interaction at the races?
“Yeah, we’re going downtown Friday to do an event at the Bayside Marketplace and hopefully get in front of people who don’t know a lot about racing. Hopefully, we’ll attract some new fans there and raise a lot of interest in the sport. On Sunday, we’re going out to the campgrounds to show people Smithfield and Dixie Vodka’s Best Bacon Bloody Mary, which will be a lot of fun. After that, we’ll do a Q&A in the fan zone with Cole (Custer) to hype up the fans for the race. It’s a lot of fun for the fans. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here, so I love going out and thanking everyone for coming.”