Aric Almirola could be announced as the new driver of the Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) #43 car soon claims the Charlotte Observer. Previously David Ragan had been considered the favorite to land behind the wheel of the Ford Fusion which was driven by AJ Allmendinger the last two seasons. Allmendinger was released so he could join Penske Racing and drive the #22 car which was vacated after a mutual agreement between team officials and Kurt Busch.
While Ragan found his way to victory lane in July at Daytona much of his 2011 season was filled with disappointment. He was let go from his contract with Roush Fenway Racing after the organization struggled to find sponsorship for the upcoming season.
Almirola competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports and finished fourth in the overall standings. The 27 year-old took over the seat of the #9 for RPM in 2010 when Kasey Kahne was released from his contract. Four of his finishes were in the twenties but he did find his way up to fourth place at Homestead during his time with the team.
In 2010 he finished second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points after winning two races.
Almirola was scheduled to run the #88 for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series for a full season. If he does indeed leave for RPM it’s unclear if he would still compete in that car.