NASCARAlmirola: ‘I’m Going to Miss Going to Battle with My Guys’

Almirola: ‘I’m Going to Miss Going to Battle with My Guys’

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

The swan song for Aric Almirola saw the Stewart-Haas Racing quietly score a top-15 finish in his final race as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver.

Throughout much of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang ran just inside the top-20. Almirola’s car came to life after the final caution of the 312-lap race. The veteran driver cruised into the top-15 during the final 31-lap green flag run.

Almirola snuck by teammate Ryan Preece, as well as fellow Ford Performance driver Brad Keselowski to take 13th. It marked the final race in a 12-year run of full-time competition in the Cup Series for the Tampa, FL native. After 12 years, six with Stewart-Haas, it’s the people that Almirola worked with day in a day out that he’s going to miss.

“I’m going to really miss that part right there, going to battle with my guys,” Almirola said. “Just competing at the top level with this No. 10 team. That’s the coolest thing about my job. I get to do what I love to do with people I love. It’s enjoyable to do this with the people that you love. 

“I will certainly miss competing at the top level and competing with them and stepping into that racecar and feeling like a gladiator going to battle in front of a packed-out racetrack. I’m so grateful and so thankful. God has blessed me in ways I never imagined possible.”

The 39-year-old ends his full-time career with a 22nd-place finish in points in 2023. Throughout his career Almirola had three victories, 30 top-five and 96 top-10 finishes, along with six pole positions.

Like Almirola, fellow Stewart-Haas driver Kevin Harvick is retiring after the 2023 season. While Josh Berry will take over Harvick’s No. 4 Ford, a replacement for Almirola has yet to be announced.

After a lengthy career, Almirola gets to spend more time with friends and family.

Seth Eggert
Seth Eggert
Growing up in Northern New Jersey, Seth grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. He was always determined to have a career in the industry. While in college, Seth bought a subscription to iRacing. As an avid iRacer, Seth took an opportunity to start a journalism career at iRacingNews covering the IndyCar Open Oval Series. He spent four years at iRacingNews before moving towards coverage of motorsports in the real world. In 2016, Seth joined Tribute Racing, which then became Motorsports Tribune as a Staff Writer. That same year, he graduated from Mitchell Community College with an Associate’s Degree in History. He joined the Kickin’ the Tires team as a Staff Writer and eSports Editor in late 2019. When he is not writing or covering NASCAR or iRacing, Seth works at Mitchell Community College as an Administrator in their Mooresville campus tutoring center. He is also qualified to tutor up to 38 different classes ranging from Communications to History to Math to various electives.


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