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RPM’s Almirola Has New Crew Chief

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, April 30 2012

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 Ford of Richard Petty Motorsports, has a new crew chief. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Christa L Thomas)

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Richard Petty Motorsports announced Monday that it changing crew chiefs on the No. 43 car. Mike Ford will replace Greg Erwin as the crew chief for driver Aric Almirola.

Ford led Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team to six straight post-season appearances in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ford will join the team immediately and will be atop the pit box in Talladega this coming weekend.

At JGR, Ford had 17 wins, 66 top-five finishes and 108 top-10 finishes and never missed a Chase appearance. The 12-year Sprint Cup veteran also previously held crew chief roles for Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing and Bill Elliott at Evernham Motorsports.

“Mike Ford is an elite crew chief who knows what it takes to be a winner at this level,” said team owner Richard Petty. “We’re fortunate that he was available and that we could reach a deal to bring him over to our place. We’ve taken a lot of big steps at Richard Petty Motorsports in the past year and I think this might be that one piece of the puzzle we were missing.”

In eight races with Petty, Almirola has one top-10 and one top-15 finish in the 2012 Sprint Cup season.

“I can’t wait to start working with Mike,” Almirola said. “Everyone in the garage respects him and knows what he’s capable of. It’s a goal of the 43 team to make the Chase this year and I think Mike’s experience and knowledge can help get us there. We’ve got some ground to make up but I think we can do it.”

Ford is also looking forward to join forces with Petty and Almirola.

“Richard Petty Motorsports has proven to be a winning organization with the potential to be a Chase contender,” said Ford. “Sammy Johns has built a solid foundation from a competition standpoint and I’m looking forward to working with Aric and the rest of the team.”

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, April 30 2012
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