For Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Farmland Ford team, it's time for them to show their mettle. After falling in the point standings following an incident in Bristol, Almirola and the No. 43 team are determined to climb back up the point standings.
"Last week was a hard hit to our team," Almirola stated. "We fell in the point standings, but I have a lot of confidence in Todd (crew chief Todd Parrott) and in this No. 43 team. I really believe that we can still come back and get into a position to make the chase. We just have a hole to dig out of, but it's early in the season."
Almirola will make his ninth NASCAR series start at the Auto Club Speedway this weekend in the No. 43 Farmland Ford. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver looks to surpass his best California finish of sixth, which he posted in 2010 in the Nationwide Series, in Sunday's Auto Club 400.
As part of their Race to End Hunger, Almirola will join Farmland Foods this week to present a cash and protein donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. The donation will help feed thousands of families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire. The announcement and presentation will be held at the Auto Club Speedway on Friday, March 22 at 9:30 a.m. and will include remarks from Farmland, Aric and Second Harvest Food Bank representatives, as well as photo opportunities.
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Mac Tools Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports, goes into this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in 15th-place after four events. Ambrose and crew chief Drew Blickensderfer have high hopes for this season and while they admit the start to 2013 has been quiet, they don't expect it to remain that way.
"The short tracks feel fasters than the big tracks, so for me the sensation of speed at a track like Bristol is high," added Ambrose. "When you get to Fontana it's not the speed that gets you, it's the ability to drive through any problems. A big corner like Fontana, you might have three or four handling characteristics throughout that corner and you've got to be able to stay in the gas and correct them as you go around, so, for me, that's the challenge of those big tracks is to carry the momentum and drive through any problems you've got to do the lap times."
The Richard Petty Motorsports team will hit the track in Fontana, CA, for the opening practice session on Friday, March 22nd, at 2:30 PM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 7:10 PM (EDT).
The 200-lap/400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, March 24th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 3:00 PM (EDT). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
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