Almirola focused on performing in Chase

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Aric Almirola (43) collects damage from Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway.

By Dominic Aragon
August 19, 2014

With three races left until the field is finalized for this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, Aric Almirola and his team are focused on continuing to build their intermediate program for the playoffs.

Almirola finished one lap down in 20th Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. Yet, the 30-year-old veteran remained optimistic after collecting damage early in the race.

“We got caught up in the big wreck and had some damage to the front-end we had to fix,” Almirola said to The Racing Experts. “We tried some different strategy to get track position, but the cautions just didn't fall our way.”

Almirola was one of nine drivers who tested Monday at Michigan International Speedway to test aerodynamics and engine combinations for 2015. But the driver also said other tests are planned to help grow the program.

“We have some tests scheduled that will help our program before the Chase,” Almirola said.

And because Almirola and the No. 43 team will qualify for their first Chase berth, he said the team will do their best to make noise and contend for the championship.

“We are really focused on doing well in the Challenger round to make it through to the Contender round,” he said. “Our goal is to focus on Chicago, New Hampshire and Dover and bring the best we can to make it through.

Aric Almirola 

“We have a few tests scheduled to help that, and we are working on some things in the races leading up to Chicago.”

The No. 43 team, led by first-year crew chief Trent Owens, keep trying to fine tune their intermediate program, and believe they can only continue to improve.

“We continue to work on our intermediate program and have improved since the beginning of the year,” Almirola said. “Each weekend, we bring notes back and try different things to find what works. I think this weekend gets us a step closer to a top-ten intermediate program.”

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