The Richard Petty Motorsports driver hopes to record his third consecutive Top-10 finish Saturday night at RIR; the first Top-10 three-peat of his Sprint Cup career. The No. 43 Smithfield Ford team comes off a seventh-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway and an eighth in Kansas, and sits just 18 points from a coveted spot in the 2013 Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup.
"Our team is on a roll right now,” said Almirola. “Everyone is really gelling together. We finished in the Top-10 in the last two races, and now we're eying a top-five. Todd (Parrott) and the guys have brought me fast cars each week. Todd has a few wins here, so I'm confident he'll put a good setup in the car."
Almirola said a recent test session at the track has him feeling even more confident.
“We tested at Richmond a few weeks ago and felt good about our cars there,” he said. “The track was really fast, which surprised me. We learned a lot from the test and felt that it helped us figure out what we need for our short-track package. I really like short track racing, so I am excited to get back to a short track this weekend.
"Richmond is Smithfield's home track, since they are just up the road in Smithfield, Virginia,” he added. “It's a big deal for our team to run good there for them. We would love to be able to win a race there. They are going to have a lot of people out this weekend, so I hope we can put on a good show and celebrate with them in Victory Lane."
Almirola has two prior Sprint Cup starts at Richmond -- both last season – along with five Nationwide Series starts. He collected his best RIR finish of seventh in the fall Nationwide race in 2011.