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Why Have We Not Heard a Decision From Aric Almirola Yet?

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Joshua Lipowski

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Aric Almirola has yet to announce his retirement decision. Back in late July, Almirola said on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio that within the next “30-60 days” he would announce his decision. Well, we are past that deadline, and Almirola has yet to announce his decision yet. Why is that?

A Decision Has Been Made, But It Has Yet to Be Announced

It is entirely possible that internally, SHR and Aric Almirola already know. They just do not have the ability to announce it as of yet. This could be because SHR is still going through the details of a deal with a particular driver, and they are just not ready to announce it yet.

With Almirola publically not making any statements, SHR may be close enough to sign a driver that they feel it might just be easier to announce it all at the same time. SHR’s PR staff is probably very busy right now as well dealing with things like Kevin Harvick’s retirement, and having another driver retire at the same time might take away from Kevin Harvick’s retirement tour.

As a result, SHR may feel it is best to let some of the Harvick retirement dust settle, then they can announce Almirola in whatever way they choose to handle it. It is possible that Almirola has also decided he will come back, and SHR is just waiting for the perfect time to announce it. However, the recent reports would conflict with that.

Almirola’s Decision Has Been Made, but SHR Does Not Know the Replacement

Another possibility is that Almirola has already notified SHR of his decision to retire, but SHR does not know who will drive for the team yet. The idea of who can replace Almirola at SHR is the subject of major scrutiny because SHR does not have many drivers to pick from.

The Ford prospect pool is very thin at the moment, and the most logical option may be Cole Custer. Joe Custer is the Team President at SHR, who is Cole’s dad, so, Cole has at least Joe in his corner. However, Custer’s Cup Series stats with SHR were less than stellar.

Therefore, not everyone at SHR would probably be on board with Custer landing that ride. Some may look at it as a step backward to bring back the guy who could not get the job done in three years with the team at the Cup Series level.

However, there is no easy replacement for Almirola either. Noah Gragson is a candidate, but does he bring funding? On top of that, he was awful in his 2/3 of a season with Legacy Motor Club. If you look at Ford’s prospects, the choices in the lower series are Ben Rhodes, Brett Moffitt, and Ty Majeski.

None of those drivers excite people. Therefore, it’s not out of the question that within SHR, there is either no choice made or, worst case scenario, there is internal strife about a decision.

There Truly Has Been No Decision Yet

It’s also entirely possible that no decision has been made yet by any party. If SHR does not know who will replace Almirola in 2024, then why would they try to push him out the door or push him into a decision? It’s possible that SHR is continuing to analyze potential replacements while allowing Almirola to continue to decide.

Now, this is very unlikely because SHR cannot give offers to drivers when their current driver is uncertain about their future. However, Almirola does bring significant funding from Smithfield, so there is an incentive for SHR to bring him back. As long as there is no official statement from either party, there is a chance that there has been no decision made.

When will Aric Almirola announce his decision? He is the last major silly season domino to fall in the Cup Series, and everyone is curious to see how this ends up.

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Joshua Lipowski

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