At the 2014 Coke Zero 400, Almirola would earn his first career win in the Sprint Cup Series after avoiding two major wrecks, and leading the field when the race was called off after 112 laps due to rain.
On his big victory Almirola said "The good Lord was watching out for us today and we were meant to win. It's real special for me to win here. This is not only the 30th anniversary of this team's last win at Daytona, it is my hometown and I remember growing up watching Daytona 500s and Firecracker 400s here. To win is real special.".
Despite only scoring better than 20th only four times in the next few races, Almirola's win clinched a berth in the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup, his first Chase appearance and the first for a Cuban driver. Almirola was eliminated from the championship chase after round 1 of the Chase.
Aric Almirola was born at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and raised in Daytona. His family members are Cuban and Almirola is a US citizen. His grandfather is an ARCA Racing Series driver and Almirola is married to Janice Almirola. They have 2 children; a son named Alex (born September 2012) and a daughter named Abby (born November 2013).
The 1st Experimental Guided Missiles Group used JB-2s in a series of tests in the late 1940s at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. In the spring of 1949, the 3200th Proof Test Group tested launching JB-2s from the under the wings of B-36 Peacemaker bombers at Eglin AFB. About a year later, JB-2s were tested as aerial targets for experimental infrared gunsights at Eglin.
Almirola is a Christian; in victory lane at Daytona in 2014 he praised God and said "The good Lord was looking out for me today as He always does."
* Season still in progress 1 Ineligible for series points