This weekend, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for “America’s Night Race.” Aric Almirola and the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) earned a solid sixth-place finish at the “Last Great Colosseum” during this year’s spring event and are looking to continue their success there Saturday night.
The stop at Bristol should provide confidence for the 34-year-old Almirola as he was the top finishing SHR driver during the spring race – one of his 10 top-10 finishes this season. In addition to gaining more confidence, Almirola’s No. 10 Ford Fusion will have Smithfield’s Anytime Favorites brand adorning the car.
Almirola has been successful this season at short tracks, in general, completing 99.8 percent of all possible laps and collecting four of his top-10 results at tracks 1.058 miles or less. His lone top-five result this season came on the mile oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where he led 42 laps before ultimately finishing third.
Before donning his helmet this weekend, Almirola will first put on his super-dad hat as he prepares his two kids, Abby and Alex, for their first day back to school. And just like he has to be fast on the track, Almirola will have to be fast preparing a protein-packed breakfast in the morning to power up his kids’ day of learning. Luckily, Smithfield has the perfect product line for Almirola to be quick in the morning – Smithfield’s Anytime Favorites. Anytime Favorites will help Almirola make the transition from those slow summer mornings to the rushed, school-day wake-up calls a breeze as all he needs to do is to open the package and add eggs to the contents for an easy family breakfast.
Almirola and Smithfield know that breakfast is important for all kids, and that’s why he and Smithfield are committed to ensuring everyone has access to this essential meal needed to perform successfully in school. Smithfield has once again partnered with No Kid Hungry, doubling its donation to 2 million meals to support the organization’s in-school breakfast programs that help ensure the 1 in 6 American children struggling with hunger can check this item off their list, too. Additionally, Almirola’s No. 10 Ford Fusion will be sporting a unique Anytime Favorites livery at Bristol to highlight the back-to-school favorite while also encouraging race fans to show their breakfast via social media using #BreakfastPower. For every breakfast photo shared with the hashtag, Smithfield will donate 10 meals to No Kid Hungry – helping more kids get access to healthy meals.
As the action heats up Saturday night, know that Almirola and his Smithfield team will also be powered by breakfast at Bristol.
Even though Smithfield is focused on school-day breakfast this weekend at Bristol, summer is still in full swing. Fans have the opportunity to continue celebrating the grilling season by entering Smithfield’s “Hero of the Grill” contest that Almirola and five-time world-champion barbecue pitmaster Tuffy Stone helped launch earlier this year. Fans are encouraged to nominate their favorite grill hero by visiting SmithfieldGetGrilling.com. One “Hero of the Grill” nominee will win $5,000. Plus, the first 10,000 nominees will have the chance to see their name featured on Almirola’s No. 10 Smithfield Ford at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in September. =
Fans can also enter for their chance to win Smithfield’s Smoke Machine Mustang designed by team co-owner Tony Stewart with the help of drifting champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. They helped create a one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang RTR Spec 3 that will be given away to one lucky fan. Fans can register for their chance to win the suped-up Mustang and a trip to November’s Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead by visiting SmithfieldRacing.com, or by texting SMOKE to 82257.
Bristol marks the 21st points-paying event during which the Smithfield livery has adorned Almirola’s No. 10 Ford Fusion. Smithfield, a brand of Smithfield Foods, which is based approximately five hours northeast of SHR headquarters in Smithfield, Virginia, is in its seventh season with Almirola and its first with SHR. Founded in 1936, Smithfield is a leading provider of high-quality pork products, with a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts.
ARIC ALMIROLA, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Anytime Favorites Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What has it been like driving for a high-performance team like Stewart-Haas Racing this season?
“The performance speaks for itself and you can see it week in and week out. The Stewart-Haas Racing cars are a threat. They’re running in the top-five, leading laps and challenging for wins and we’re putting ourselves in position to win races with all four of our cars. It’s been fun. Its fun when you get on the airplane for whatever racetrack you’re going to and you feel like you’re going to have a shot to win.”
You’re working with a rookie crew chief this year, Johnny Klausmeier. He’s a wealth of information. What’s it like working with him?
“Johnny is great. He is new at being a crew chief but he’s a very smart engineer and he’s working his way into the leadership role. As he continues to grow and gets more comfortable in that role, and as we continue to bond as a team and gel, it’s just going to get better and better. That’s one thing that has me really excited – the way we’ve performed already in the first half of the season with a relatively very young, new group all working together. The potential is very high. I don’t feel like we’ve come close to reaching our max potential and yet we’ve run really well.”
Your No. 10 car has a little bit different look this weekend at Bristol. Can you talk about it?
“I’m looking forward to Bristol. We have a really cool paint scheme – Smithfield Anytime Favorites. We use the product all of the time in our house. They’re precooked and ready to go. Breakfast is a big deal in our house and we use it to power up for the day. I love the little diced pieces of ham. I throw them in the pan with some spinach, mushrooms and eggs, and you’re ready to go for the day.”