“Rejuvenated” Almirola makes biscuits as he prepares for Darlington
Aric Almirola is ready for the “Lady in Black” for the first time as a member of Stewart-Haas Racing.
Almirola had some fun Monday afternoon at Bojangles headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., making biscuits in their test kitchen.
Almirola also talked about racing at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in the Bojangles 500 coming up Labor Day weekend while learning how to make the event sponsor’s biscuits from scratch.
“The Bojangles 500 is a very grueling race that can work up an appetite,” said Almirola while kneading the biscuit dough. “A biscuit halfway through the race would come in handy.
“I love a good bacon biscuit with Smithfield bacon. The ‘Lady in Black’ deserves a lot of respect but so does a Bojangles biscuit.”
Almirola said he was excited to be driving a Stewart Haas Racing Ford for the first time at Darlington later this summer.
“As a race car driver that is what you live for,” he said. “You grow up racing and everytime you go to the race track if you think you are going to run 10th every week that gets old after a while.
“(Driving for SHR) has given me a new sense of energy and rejuvenated my career knowing that when I get on the plane each week I know I have a chance for a win and that is all you can ask for as a race car driver.”
Almirola enters this weekend’s race at New Hampshire 12th in the playoff standings, and while there are still seven races to go until the playoffs begin, he’s confident where he sits right now.
“I feel confident where we are for the playoffs,” said Almirola. “We’re consistently outrunning those behind us in the points. I’m not overly concerned, but you have to not let your guard down and perform at a high level.
“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve brought fast cars to the track each week.”
Almirola feels his team is already ahead of expectations in their first season together.
“Our whole team is really young and to see the success we’ve had in a short amount of time really gets me excited,” he said. “I expected some growing pains, but we have a car capable of running in the top 10 (each week) and honestly I was thinking if we ran top-15 each week and hoped to build on that by the time we got to the playoffs.
“We’ve been in the top-10 almost every weekend we show up and have had some chances to win some races.”
While Almirola hopes to score a win with his new team before then, he also appreciates how special a win at Darlington would be for him and his team.
“The Darlington ‘Throwback weekend’ is so much fun to go there and honor the past of NASCAR and to race there is always a fun weekend. It’s great to get back to the roots of NASCAR and it’s a drivers track and one you want to win at,” he added. “It’s so demanding and tough that when you win at Darlington, it’s a huge accomplishment.”
Bojangles’ has sponsored NASCAR’s historic event at the Darlington Raceway since 2012.
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