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May 21, 2014 - 04:11 PM
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Stars, Stripes And Air Planes Adorn The No 43 In Patriotic Paint Scheme For Iconic Coca-Cola 600
Posted by: newsla on May 21, 2014 - 04:05 PM
Stars, Stripes And Air Planes Adorn The No 43 In Patriotic Paint Scheme For Iconic Coca-Cola 600

Aric Almirola and the No. 43 team will sport stars, stripes and air planes this weekend as they run the first of two U.S. Air Force paint schemes. Headed into the team's home track, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, the Richard Petty Motorsports team is hopeful that they can endure 600 miles and come out victorious to mark Almirola first Sprint Cup Series win and the No. 43's first win since 1999.


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Almirola brings four Cup starts to the site of his only Sprint Cup Series pole, which he scored with the team in 2012. He also has 10 starts in both Nationwide and the Truck Series where he compiled one top-five, a best finish of fourth in 2007, and five top-10 finishes. Crew Chief Trent Owens brings a plethora of experience to the table with 16 starts at the 1.5-mile track as a crew chief in the Nationwide Series including a win in 2006 and an average finish of 9.2.

The #43 team & @Aric_Almirola will show support for the military this wknd with #AFRacing paint scheme for the Memorial Day race. #NASCAR

@Aric Almirola and No. 43 @Ford Racing team honor military with @US Air Force Recruiting paint scheme for Memorial Day weekend race at @Charlotte Motor Speedway. The site of Almirola's first pole, the team hopes to add another first to the list with a win on Sunday.

"Six hundred miles is a long race. That extra 100 miles isn't that bad physically, but it is mentally. It's abnormal for us. We're used to running three and a half hours, every once in a while we get a four hour race. The 600 seems to average quite a bit over four hours. It's just a long time to be in a racecar whether it's handling well or not and trying to stay on top of the racetrack. It changes so much throughout the day. It starts in the heat of the afternoon and finishes in the coolness of the night, so there is a lot going on.

"We tend to have a lot of speed in these cars when we go to 1.5-mile race tracks. Roush Yates gets us great horsepower. And, we have good handling cars there. We won the pole two years ago and hopefully we can repeat that speed this weekend. The Showdown was not what we expected, but we have good notes and talked a lot about what we can do to fix the car. I think we'll be able to overcome that outcome and finish well on Sunday.

"Throughout the season, we do a lot with the military, especially the Air Force. I'm proud to run an Air Force car for Memorial Day weekend. My dad was in the Air Force, so that holds a special place in my heart. But more than that, I'm proud that in a small way we can show thanks to all the men and women that give up everything so we can go race on Sunday. It is unbelievable the sacrifices they make for our freedom, and I'm grateful every day for their sacrifice."

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