Aric A. Almirola (born March 14, 1984) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently drives the No. 43 Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and he also drives the No. 98 Ford Mustang for Biagi-DenBeste Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on a part-time basis.
Almirola attended the University of Central Florida to work on a degree in mechanical engineering before leaving to pursue a career in racing. He is nicknamed "The Cuban Missile" due to his Cuban heritage.
Austin Dillon (born April 27, 1990) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He is the son of former driver and RCR general manager Mike Dillon, brother of Ty Dillon and grandson of Richard Childress.
He currently drives the No. 3 Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he also drives the No.
Almirola was born on Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, of Cuban descent. He began racing when he was eight years old, racing go-karts. At 14, he began racing nationally. He won the pole position in his debut in the World Karting Association race and finished fourth in the standings that year. Two years later, he moved up into modifieds and won several Rookie of the Year awards.
In 2002, Almirola moved to the NASCAR Sun Belt Weekly Racing Division and finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings. He followed that up with five pole positions in 2003. In 2004, he became one of the first drivers to participate in NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program. He also signed with Joe Gibbs Racing as a development driver under a partnership with former NFL player Reggie White.
Almirola ran the season at Ace Speedway, and won two races before finishing 11th in the points standings. He won five more races at the track in 2005, and made his Truck Series debut with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports and had two top-tens in four races.
In 2003, Joe Gibbs Racing partnered with former NFL player Reggie White to start a team that would assist minority drivers in rising up the ranks of the Motorsports world.
In 2004, the team came into form with assistance of Gibbs' Cup and Busch Series sponsors Home Depot, MBNA, and Rockwell Automation. The original two drivers were Aric Almirola (a future winner at the Cup level) and Chris Bristol (who would join NASCAR's D4D program in 2006), who drove cars numbered 20 and 18 respectively at two different short tracks in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series.
Almirola and Bristol returned in 2005, with both drivers running number 92 to honor the late Reggie White.