● History at Phoenix Raceway: Phoenix is the track where Aric Almirola has arguably been most consistent in recent years. In his last 11 starts there, he has earned six top-10 finishes – two of those being top-fours. He’s also led 33 laps at the mile oval. Almirola qualified fifth and finished 12th in last year’s March race there.
● Almirola had a strong start to this season by winning his heat race and starting on the pole during the non-points Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Then, at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the 38-year-old veteran won his Duel qualifying race and led 16 laps of the points-paying season-opening Daytona 500 – the most laps he’s led at Daytona in 23 starts.
● Last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Almirola ran in and around the top-15 for the entirety of the race. While searching for speed and handling for his No. 10 Ford most of the way, Almirola consistently gained momentum and approached the top-10 in the final stage. In the closing laps, he quickly came upon a lapped car in his racing line, ultimately forcing him to check up and his car to get loose and make contact with the wall. Almirola rallied for a 16th-place finish in the closing laps.
● Driver Points: Almirola arrives at Las Vegas 21st in the driver standings with 52 points. He gained four positions with his finish at Las Vegas.
● Almirola’s career: In 427 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, Almirola has three wins, 28 top-five finishes, 91 top-10s, three poles, and has led 990 laps.
● Go Bowling will be the primary sponsor on Almirola’s No. 10 Ford. This weekend’s inaugural Go Bowling PBA NASCAR Invitational brings the worlds of bowling and auto racing together at Phoenix Raceway. The event will be televised at noon ET Sunday on FS1, prior to the NASCAR United Rentals Work United 500. Go Bowling, a proud sponsor of Phoenix Raceway and the PBA, is partnering with QubicaAMF to construct a custom pair of lanes inside “The Barn” on the grounds of Phoenix Raceway. Fans and guests are invited to attend Friday’s event free of charge, and then will have the chance to bowl on the lanes throughout the weekend once the competition concludes. GoBowling.com is the destination for bowling fans and enthusiasts seeking news and information about one of America’s favorite pastimes and the nation’s number one participatory sport. With more than 67 million people taking to the lanes each year, GoBowling.com is a one-stop location where people of all ages can go to satisfy their love of bowling.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series: In 2023, Almirola is continuing to share his life beyond the No. 10 Ford with season five 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 the show 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.
Phoenix is such an important track to get right because it hosts the season finale and crowns a champion at the end of the year. How do you as a team enter this weekend?
“Well, we always want to bring fast racecars and get what we can out of a weekend, but Phoenix is a track where you’re really paying attention to how your car is responding and what you could bring back in the fall. For us, we’re trying to have another consistent weekend and stay out of trouble. We had a rough start in California, getting caught up in an accident with nowhere to go, and you can’t put yourself in a hole early. When we came here last March, we had a really good car. We had an issue on pit road that put us at the back of the field and we still came back to finish 12th. We definitely had a top-five car last March. This weekend in Phoenix is crucial to get the No. 10 team back on track.”
You’re having some fun bowling before you hit the track in your Go Bowling Ford Mustang on Friday. Are you a good bowler?
“I wouldn’t say I’m that good at bowling, but I’m always competitive no matter what I do. Bowling is a sport that anyone could be good at. I’m not good enough to spin the ball like the pros, but I have had a few games in the 190s or more. Friday’s Go Bowling celebrity bowling tournament will be the second celebrity bowling tournament for me. I competed in Chris Paul’s tournament in 2019 and had a blast. Me and Jason Belmonte were on a team. I was actually more nervous then than I am in the car. I somehow drew the unlucky straw to be the first bowler on live television, so you’re hoping to just hit a pin. I somehow got a strike, so the nerves were totally gone after that. We’re going to have a lot of fun and I hope everyone tunes in on FS1 on Sunday to watch.”