Smithfield Racing

Aric Almirola Bio


A Florida native, of Cuban descent, Almirola was tapped to be one of the original members of the Joe Gibbs Racing/Reggie White Driver Diversity Program in 2003. He made his first foray into NASCAR competition in 2004 behind the wheel of a late-model stock car. He quickly spent the next two years winning in late models around North Carolina and becoming a rising star throughout the Southeast.

Almirola made his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Start in 2007 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He climbed the ranks the next few years, competing in all three of NASCAR’s premier series.

In 2012, “The King” came calling, asking Almirola to race the famed No 43. Almirola joined Richard Petty Motorsports that year, winning his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pole at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team hit their stride in 2013 with six top 10 finishes, including four in a row.

The 2014 season was a breakthrough one for Almirola. He won his first Monster Energy Cup race at the Daytona International Speedway on the same weekend that Petty won his 200th, 30 years prior. The success of the 2014 season earned Almirola a spot in the Top 25 Latino Athletes in ESPN Deportes The Magazine.

In 2015, the team finished 17th in the Championship Point Standings, while posting three top five, six top 10 and 18 top 15 finishes and a career-best 17.9 average finish. The 2016 season brought Almirola his second XFINITY Series win at the Daytona International Speedway in the No. 98 Ford for Biagi-DenBeste Racing. Almirola is one of only 26 drivers to have won at least one race in each of NASCAR’s top three series.

With a winning confidence, expect Almirola to once again be running up front and competing for a championship in 2017.

Get to know “The King” Richard Petty