RPM teammates Almirola, Ambrose have the same thing in mind

Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 U.S. Air Force Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2012 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 U.S. Air Force Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2012 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

CONCORD, N.C. — The Richard Petty Motorsports teammates who will start Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 side-by-side on the front row have the same short-term objective — to lead the first lap.

After winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole in Thursday’s time trials, Aric Almirola will lead the field to green to start NASCAR’s longest race. Marcos Ambrose, who hasn’t won a Cup pole yet, will take the green flag in whichever lane — outside or inside — Almirola doesn’t choose.

Both Almirola and Ambrose have the same thing in mind.

“I want to lead that first lap, so I hope he treats me well,” Ambrose quipped. “It’s just a proud moment for us to be on the front row like that together. The worst thing we could do is to cause each other trouble, so we know what we need to do.

“Whatever lane he chooses, I’m just going to go for it and see if I can lead the first lap.”
Just don’t expect Almirola to back off.

“I fully expect to lead some laps tomorrow night,” Almirola said. “I think our (car) is fast enough to be able to lead some laps, so we want to go out and get a good start and get some clean air on the car and go have a good race.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.