News and notes from each week of NASCAR racing using a Las Vegas oddsmaking perspective
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Aric Almirola is 100/1 to win second Atlanta race
Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing
● Event: Atlanta 400 (Round 21 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 11
● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway
● Layout: 1.5-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stages 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 80 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps
● TV/Radio: NBCSN / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● History at Atlanta Motor Speedway: This will mark Almirola’s 12th NASCAR Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway oval. Almirola has two top-10 finishes, four top-15s in his previous 11 Atlanta starts, and he qualified on the pole and led 36 laps in 2019. He also has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts there with a best finish of eighth, and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts with a best finish of third.
● Almirola’s best finish this year is fourth at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. His second-best finish was sixth at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, and his next-best was 11th at Phoenix Raceway.
● Last weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Almirola led a lap and finished 14th to earn his best road-course result of the season.
● Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz has two top-five finishes at Atlanta in six outings as a Cup Series crew chief.
● Almirola’s 2020 season proved successful when he earned a career-high 18 top-10 finishes, six top-fives and led 305 laps. During the season, Almirola went on a five-race streak of top-five finishes and earned nine consecutive top-10s.
● Career Stats: Almirola has career totals of two wins, two poles, 25 top-five finishes, 81 top-10s and 860 laps led in 372 NASCAR Cup Series starts.
● Smithfield Foods celebrates 10 years of partnership with Almirola this season with a special campaign called Taste Victory.As one of the most active partners in NASCAR, Smithfield plans to engage fans all year long by hosting a microsite that provides the opportunity to win when Almirola wins or finishes inside the top-10. When Almirola wins, one fan wins $10,000, and 10 fans win a gift card for each top-10 finish. The microsite also doubles as an Aric Almirola fan page and entertainment source where fans can get behind the wheel of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with a custom racing game, and learn more about Almirola with fast facts, favorite recipes and custom content about his life on and off the track. Visit www.tastevictory.com to learn more. Thanks to Almirola’s Feb. 11 win in his Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500, one lucky fan has already won $10,000.
● Beyond the 10 YouTube Series:In 2021, Almirola continues to share 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.
● After the season’s first 20 points-paying events, Almirola and the Smithfield Ford team sit 27th in the championship with 317 points, 481 behind leader Denny Hamlin and 154 behind the playoff cutoff line.
Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What’s it like racing at Atlanta?
“Drivers love to race at tracks that are old and worn out because it gives us options. It seems like the times we go to repaves, it gets very narrow and we can only run right in a single groove. When we go to Atlanta, it’s got a lot of character. It’s rough. It’s bouncy. It’s worn out and you slip and slide. We like having that control of cars sliding around and driving it. We really enjoy tracks like Atlanta.”
We saw improvement in the 1.5-mile program when you won the All-Star Open at Texas. Do you think that will translate to Atlanta?
“We did find some solid speed at Texas and it was great to see improvement there after the year we have had. I hope a few things transfer over to Atlanta, but it’s such a worn-out track that you’re mostly managing tire fall-off. We had a lot of bad luck at the beginning of the season at tracks like Homestead and Vegas, so we didn’t get a chance to build a lot of notes there. I think we’re back on the right track and head to Atlanta with the most confidence we’ve had all year.”