43 ARIC ALMIROLA, Ford
Team: Richard Petty Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 22nd. Will make the Chase as a result of his Daytona win in July.
WATKINS GLEN RECORD: Best finish in three starts is 18th.
LOOKING AHEAD: While Almirola is not noted as being a road racing expert, he feels "I got a lot better at the Watkins Glen test last week. I've never been that great at road courses, but out of the two road courses we race, I've always run a lot better at Watkins Glen than Sonoma. I had a really good test up there. I got to look at some of my data and Marcos' (Ambrose, his teammate) data and learned some things. I'm excited about going to Watkins Glen."
LOOKING BACK: Almirola got caught up in the 13-car accident with 43 laps to go, and as a result, he finished 35th at Pocono. "Honestly, I don't know what happened there," said Almirola. "I saw smoke and I saw one car make a hard right into the fence and I knew that they were wrecking. I just tried to aim for the middle and hope for the best. I was behind (Brad) Keselowski and there were cars inside of us, so I couldn't turn left. I was on the brakes as hard as I could, and I got creamed from behind and pushed into the wreck."
ETC.: Thanks to the Petty Family Foundation and car owner Richard Petty, 98-year-old Henry Jakes of Murfreesboro, Tn., fulfilled one of his bucket list - spend a day with Petty. After arriving at the Petty Museum, Jakes lobbied Petty and the staff to be the "official greeter" for the day. Jakes was given a tour of the museum where Petty told stories about the various cars he won in during his illustrious career. The day ended with dinner with Petty. "We just sort of talked and showed him everything we had here," said Petty. "He smiled the entire time."