Aric Almirola
Aric Almirola
36-Year-Old Driver  
Stewart Haas Racing
Stewart Haas Racing
2020 Fantasy Outlook
As expected, Almirola did suffer a bit of a downturn in performance last season. His 2018 campaign set all kinds of new career marks for the veteran driver, so you knew it would be a difficult task to duplicate. Still, Almirola deposited three Top-5 and 12 Top-10 finishes in the bank by season's end. He would take an early exit from the Chase for the Cup and end up 14th-place in the championship points. Stewart Haas Racing has brought in Mike Bugarewicz from the No. 14 team of Clint Bowyer to be Almirola's new crew chief. This is an interesting shakeup, and will hopefully pay some dividends. In fact, we expect Almirola to receive a better "bump" from this crew chief swap than Bowyer. Almirola may not make it back to victory lane in 2020, but he should see his Top 5 and Top 10 totals climb back in the right direction. Read Past Outlooks
Third at the Brickyard
July 5, 2020
Almirola finished third in the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon.
The Stewart Haas Racing No. 10 team stayed hot at Indianapolis Sunday. Almirola didn't have the speed he's had in recent races, but he and crew chief Mike Bugarewicz executed a sound pit and race strategy. The veteran driver would make his way forward in stage 3 and once in good track position would hold onto it. NASCAR overtime would see him battle and cross the finish line third at Indy. The finish extended his current Top-5 streak to an amazing five races.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Aric Almirola
NASCAR Barometer: Harvick Wins Second Consecutive Brickyard 400
3 days ago
With a Denny Hamlin crash, Kevin Harvick only needed to survive overtime to grab his second Brickyard victory in a row.
DFS NASCAR: Brickyard 400
5 days ago
William Byron has been trending upward with his finishes and sits in the middle of C.J. Radune’s Higher-Risk Lineup.
Brickyard 400 Preview: Brickyard Fireworks
7 days ago
Mark Taylor previews this week's NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Denny Hamlin enters with the best chance of his career to kiss the bricks at the historic track.
NASCAR Barometer: Harvick and Hamlin Split Double-Header
10 days ago
In NASCAR’s first double-header weekend at Pocono, Kevin Harvick won the Pocono Organics 325 Saturday, and Denny Hamlin was victorious in Sunday’s Pocono 350.
DFS NASCAR: Pocono Organics 325 & Pocono 350
13 days ago
Kyle Busch has an impressive history at Pocono Raceway and leads both of C.J. Radune’s lineups for Saturday and Sunday.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
The breakout driver of 2018 has to somehow follow up the stellar season he posted last year. Almirola raced to career bests of four Top-5 and 17 Top-10 finishes. The Florida native also went back to victory lane for the first time since 2014. Almirola showed his superspeedway prowess with an October victory at Talladega that propelled the No. 10 SHR team deep into the Chase. His 15.6 average starting position and 12.8 average finishing position were career-best marks as well. It's going to be tough for Almirola to improve upon these figures. Last year was such a quantum leap in terms of performance for this 34-year-old driver that it's nearly off the charts. We believe Almirola can hold onto most of these gains, but don't expect much, if any improvement. He may have very likely found his ceiling in season one at Stewart Haas Racing.
One of the biggest free agent moves of the off-season was Almirola. The veteran driver jumped from Richard Petty Motorsports and the iconic No. 43 Ford and into the No. 10 Ford of Stewart Haas Racing. Almirola takes over the ride that Danica Patrick vacated at SHR. It's a huge opportunity for the South Florida native to make a big jump in performance. This will be by far the most capable and talented team Almirola has raced for in his 10 seasons of competition at NASCAR's top level. He could challenge his career-best marks of seven Top 10's and a 16th-place points finish. In fact, we expect Almirola and his new team to challenge for a Chase playoff berth. John Klausmeier will team with him as crew chief and give guidance in season one at SHR. It's a situation set up for success.
Last season was a complete disaster for Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports. This driver experienced a major power outage and only claimed one Top-10 finish in all of 2016. That led to a lowly 26th-place finish in the final driver standings for Almirola. Those marks were career lows since he joined the Monster Energy Cup Series full-time in 2012. Things got to the point where a team shakeup happened last September. Drew Blickensderfer took over the crew chief responsibilities and led Almirola to his only Top 10 of the season (Talladega) and three Top 15s during the Chase. Things appear to be on a much better trend line going into the new season. Hopefully, Almirola can get back into the middle teens of the driver standings and nab 6 or 7 Top 10s along the way to a much better campaign than last year.
The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team has developed nicely the last couple years under Almirola's control. He has one Chase berth to his credit (2014), he's won a race (Daytona July 2014) and he's been finishing inside the top 20 of the driver standings each season. The big question is will Almirola and this team take the next steps in development or are they maxed out? We would tend to think the latter. Nothing is changing about the sponsorship, technical alliance, or team members for the upcoming season. Trent Owens will still call the shots from atop the team's war wagon. There's good reason to believe his hot and cold streaks we accustomed to seeing throughout a year will be the rule once again in 2016. A campaign of about 7 top 10s and a challenge for another Chase berth should be in store.
Almirola will return for another season of Sprint Cup Series Racing with Richard Petty’s historic No. 43 team. Despite five years and 71 starts of experience, 2012 was his first full-time season in NASCAR’s top division. The learning curve was steep and the lessons were many for Almirola last season. He labored to just four Top-10 finishes and a 20th-place finish in the final driver standings. 2013 should hold some incremental success for Almirola. He and crew chief Todd Parrott seemed to have things pretty well figured out at the end of last year. The duo posted a pair of Top 10’s in the final four races and had the No. 43 Ford team performing as well as they had all year long. We expect that momentum to carry right into February and beyond.
More Fantasy News
Fifth-Place at Pocono
June 28, 2020
Almirola finished fifth in the Pocono 350 at Pocono Raceway Sunday afternoon.
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Third in Pocono Organics 325
June 27, 2020
Almirola finished third in the Pocono Organics 325 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon.
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Awarded Pocono Pole
June 25, 2020
Almirola will start from the pole for the Pocono Organics 325 at Pocono Raceway Saturday afternoon.
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Thid in GEICO 500
June 22, 2020
Almirola finished third in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway Monday afternoon.
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Fifth-Place at Homestead
June 14, 2020
Almirola finished fifth in the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday evening.
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