JR Motorsports announced that Aric Almirola has signed a multi-year deal to drive the team’s No. 88 Nationwide Series Chevy for 2011. He is slated to take over the car full time in 2011, but could appear in some Nationwide Series races later this season.
He has already made one start in the No. 88 car, in which he finished third at O’Reilly Raceway Park in July.
The chance to drive full time in the Nationwide Series with a top caliber team is something I am extremely excited about. was at the shop [Tuesday], and Kelley [Earnhardt] gathered all the employees around to announce our deal. The energy and excitement was addicting. We raced at ORP together a month ago and had a really good run. There is no reason why we cannot compete like that every race, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be running for a championship. I would expect nothing less.
Kelley Earnhardt said:
If there is a quintessential JR Motorsports driver, we feel it’s Aric Almirola. The way he drives, the ambition he carries, the way he represents himself on and off the track, it all fits within our company’s dynamics, our core objectives, and the values of our sponsorship partners. We look forward to putting him in our No. 88 car so he can continue his success.
Almirola has 32 Nationwide Series starts to his credit, including one win. That win, however, came in a race in which he started in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 car and Denny Hamlin took over and finished. NASCAR rules credit the finish the person who started the race with the finish, so Almirola was credited with the win.
Almirola has been having a good Camping World Truck Series season. He is currently second in points, with two wins, five top 5s, and 11 top 10s.