Aric Almirola driving Air Force car during Coca-Cola 600 (photos)


Aric Almirola will be driving the Air Force No. 43 Ford Fusion during Sunday’s running of the Coca-Cola 600.

Last season Almirola claimed the pole for the event and led three laps before finishing 16th. Almirola would finish 12th in the fall race at Charlotte.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. We got the pole here last year, so we have high expectations for this weekend as well. The race is an extra 100 miles, and you can really feel it. When you would normally get ready to get after it with 50 to go there are still another 100 laps to go. It’s hard on the engine shop. It’s hard on the cars. You make a lot of pit stops during a 600 mile race too, so the pit crew has to stay focused all night as well.”

Aside from the race being the longest of the season drivers must also deal with a change from day to night.

“It will be a challenge racing from day to night. The track is so slick in the middle of the afternoon. You get really frustrated, and it’s hard to figure out what your car is doing and what you want it to do. You can really adjust your way out of where you need to be. It’s important to really have an understanding of what you want your car to be like in the middle of the day to know it’s going to be good at nighttime.”
“Memorial Day Weekend is a really special weekend. The Air Force will be on the car, and I couldn’t be more proud to represent them this weekend. We are lucky to do what we love week in and week out, and if it wasn’t for our military, we wouldn’t have that opportunity. I’m glad that we can give back this weekend. I’d really like to get the Air Force in victory lane and be able to celebrate with them.”

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