LAS VEGAS, NV – With 39 starts now in driving for Stewart-Haas Racing, Aric Almirola is a prime example of drivers that just needed a chance. In his first six full time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series seasons, Almirola raced for a struggling Richard Petty Motorsports organization. It wasn’t a secret, RPM didn’t have the resources to compete with the big teams on a full season basis.
From 2012 through 2017, Almirola had one win (Daytona 2014), 10 top five finishes and 30 top 10’s. He also led just 118 laps including only six since 2015. But, in 39 races with SHR, Almirola already has a win (Talladega) to go along with four top fives and 19 top 10’s. He’s led 217 laps too.
Over his 13 starts, he’s brought his No. 10 Ford home in the top 10 nine times. Furthermore, in that same time frame, he’s finished 13 in every race with the exception of two.
He finished eighth last weekend in Atlanta and now seventh in Las Vegas. It’s quickly becoming clear that not only did he need a chance, he’s become the second best driver in the SHR camp.
Kevin Harvick is undoubtedly the top driver within the organization. Daniel Suarez is new, just three races into his tenure there. Clint Bowyer is in his third season but Almirola is out performing him. Over the same time frame, Bowyer has just five top 10 finishes over his last 13 starts. He’s finished 20th or worse six times.
The No. 41 Ford, Kurt Busch drove to five top 10 finishes over the final 10 races of 2018 and Suarez has driven it to just one in the first three races to 2019. That’s six in total.
Almirola, says he has a fourth to eighth place car so far in 2019. That’s 20+ spots better than he had just two years ago.