Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Eckrich Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) Ford team head to the mile-and-a-half Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for Sunday's 500-mile event at the Texas Motor Speedway fresh off a top-10 finish at Martinsville. The No. 43 team has short track success this year and is hoping to add intermediate tracks to the list with a top-10 finish this weekend.
Almirola has a myriad of experience at the Fort Worth, Texas track with six Sprint Cup, two Nationwide and nine truck series starts. He collected five top-10 finishes across all series, including a seventh-place finish in last year's spring event.
This weekend will be the first of six primary sponsorship races for Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. It also marks the return of the Eckrich "Operation Inspiration" campaign that supports and honors military families. RPM and Almirola have worked with Eckrich over the past three race seasons to surprise military families and reward them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
We welcome back @EckrichMeats for 1st of six primary races this year on famed No. 43. Will be doing a lot w #OperationInspiration. #NASCAR
We welcome back @Eckrich for the first of six primary races this year on the famed No. 43. We will be doing a lot with #OperationInspiration and @Operation Homefront. #NASCAR
"Texas has turned into a great track to race at. It is a lot like California where you can pick your lane. You can run the bottom, but the middle comes in really good and the top. During the race, the track comes in really good. That's what we want as race car drivers to be able to catch somebody and have the opportunity to pass them in a different lane. It's frustrating when we go to some race tracks and you catch somebody from 20 car lengths back. You can't pass them because your car is so dependent on air and you can't move lanes because they are in the only lane that there is. But, Texas has aged really well, and I think that it makes for a great race.
"It's great to have Eckrich back on the car this year and there is no better place for them to begin their race season than a big race like Texas. There is always a big crowd here and it's a great atmosphere to grill Eckrich smoked sausage too. It has always been fun working with Eckrich because they do such much for military families through their 'Operation Inspiration' campaign. We are always looking for ways to give back, and you just never know what we'll be doing next with Eckrich, but you can always count on it being special for the military families that are honored."