Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Aric Almirola who finished in the 20th place in the final standings.
Preseason Pick: 23rd
Top 5s: 1
Top 10s: 4
What Was Said Prior To The Season:
“One of my first bold predictions of 2012, Aric Almirola will get the job done in the famous #43 entry. I think the team is there, it’s a matter of Almirola delivering on it. I say he does equal if not lower than the man he replaced, in A.J. Allmendinger. Give him one random top five and a handful top 10s and it’ll be a good building year for the future. It is a one year deal, so is Almirola a building piece or place holder for a flashy signing next year? How he races will play into that and I can see him giving them a reason to double think what they want to do.”
What Happened In 2012:
I was just about spot on with my sentiments about Almirola for 2012, he showed promise all year long and was able to deliver on a few occasions. He was fast in qualifying and was able to pick up a season best fourth place in the fall Martinsville race. He and teammate Marcos Ambrose ended the season a bit more consistently, after shaking up the teams, so they will have a lot to build on for 2013.
On To 2013:
Almirola and Ambrose can look forward to a little continuity for 2013. Both will be back and with Ford, and the teams should be the same as they left them at Homestead. I think this team is a sleeper for 2013 putting in a performance like Michael Waltrip Racing.