Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) announced today that the team will field an entry for Aric Almirola for the Wright Brand 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Almirola will pilot the No. 16 Toyota Tsusho Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for the event.

This event will mark Almirola’s first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event since 2012. The NASCAR veteran has two wins, 19 top fives, and 38 career top 10’s in truck series competition.

Aric Almirola has carved out a successful career in NASCAR, consistently competing across the sport’s top series. Almirola boasts three career NASCAR Cup Series victories, including a Daytona 500 Duel win in 2023. Almirola has consistently challenged for playoff berths, finishing as high as fifth in the championship standings in 2018.

Prior to his tenure in the Cup Series, Almirola honed his skills across various NASCAR ranks, including the Xfinity Series and Truck Series. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated dedication and consistency, amassing over 460 starts in the Cup Series alone. His impressive average finish of 19th showcases his ability to consistently compete at the sharp end of the field.

Almirola stated that he is thrilled to be back behind the wheel of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota Tundra TRD Pro at the legendary North Wilkesboro Speedway with Hattori Racing Enterprises. “North Wilkesboro is a unique track, and it was definitely different last year with the old and worn out racing surface,” Almirola said. “I think it will be a completely different experience this year with the new pavement.”

Reuniting with his former crew chief, Richie Wauters, for the Wright Brand 250 is another exciting aspect for Almirola. “Getting back to the truck series with Richie has been something I’ve been looking forward to since we first discussed racing at North Wilkesboro a few months ago,” he explained. “I want to thank Shige Hattori for the opportunity to drive the No. 16 Toyota Tsusho Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for the Wright Brands 250.”

Team owner Shige Hattori looks forward to veteran Almirola joining the organization for the North Wilkesboro Speedway event.

“We’re excited to have Aric behind the wheel of our Toyota Tsusho Toyota Tundra TRD Pro at North Wilkesboro. His experience in the series, particularly in the early days of his career, will be invaluable. He understands the unique challenges of these vehicles and this historic track. Aric will also give us a great understanding of where we are at as a team and give us some valuable feedback”.

The Wright Brand 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway kicks off on Saturday, May 18th at 1:30pm EST. Catch all of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing action on FS1.


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