Aric Almirola will retire after this season, he announced Monday morning.
This will be Almirola’s 11th full-time Cup season. He has three career series wins, including a victory last year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Almirola stated in a video posted Monday morning that spending more time with his family is a key reason for this decision.
“I’m going to be 38 years old in March, and I feel like for 38 years my life has always revolved around me, my schedule, everything I had going on,” Almirola said in the video. “When I was a kid, my parents did everything they possibly could do to get me to school, to run me to basketball practice, to go to the go-kart track. Everything revolved around what I needed to do.
“I’m excited about going forward with my family to turn my focus and attention on my family, start scheduling things around their schedule. I feel that now is the right time.
“At the end of this season coming have, I’m going to have a 10-year-old Alex and I’m going to have a 9-year-old Abby. I’ve got a short window to spend with them while they still think Dad is cool. Before you know it, they’re going to have car keys and they’e going to be running off with their friends and I’m going to miss it. I don’t want to miss it.”
Almirola said later in the video: “I’m ready to be home. I’m excited to race this season. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the new car and I’m pumped to go out on a high note. Results and trophies and all those things, at this point, is not going to change my life. What is going to change my life is a quality relationship with my wife and kids. That stuff will last a long, long time.”
Almirola’s departure will be Stewart-Haas Racing will have a vacancy after this season.
“I’ve watched Aric develop into a really good racecar driver and it was a proud moment when we were able to bring him to Stewart-Haas Racing,” co-owner Tony Stewart said in a statement. “He’s really delivered for our race team and for Smithfield, always putting in maximum effort. I know he wants to go out on a high note and we’re going to give him all the resources to succeed.”
SHR also announced that Smithfield will continue as an anchor partner with the team this season.
I remember when Aric called me to tell me he was considering an opportunity to drive for Richard Petty. He was sad to leave JRM but the Cup series was his goal. I was very proud of him and JRM for creating that path back then. He made the most of it.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) January 10, 2022