Aric Almirola on No. 43 team: 'We just have not executed'

24-26 June, 2016, Sonoma, California USA Aric Almirola ©2016, Nigel Kinrade LAT Photo USA

24-26 June, 2016, Sonoma, California USA Aric Almirola ©2016, Nigel Kinrade LAT Photo USA

Few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have had 2016 seasons as disappointing as Aric Almirola's.

In 2014, Almirola won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in his Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. He also made the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the first time that season.

Last year, he finished 17th in points, best of the drivers not in the Chase.

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This year, however, has been a nightmare.

Almirola right now is 25th in points and, in the last 12 races, his best finish in the iconic No. 43 RPM Ford was 18th at Kansas. Twelve times in 16 races, Almirola has finished outside the top 20.

Friday at Daytona, where he is preparing for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400, Almirola pulled no punches about his struggles.

Almirola said the 2014-15 seasons were "something we could hang our hat on and feel proud about and this year we haven't found anything to be proud about."

And then he really went off.

"The first couple races this season were pretty good for us but then after that we just have not executed, we have not had good race cars, we have not done things right on pit road," Almirola said.

"Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong," he said. "We have had engine failures, part failures, track bar motors breaking and winding themselves up.

"You name it, we have had it happen to us this year. It has just been one of those years."

And then, he sounded a slightly positive note.

"Hopefully at any moment here we are going to turn this thing around," Almirola said.

Clearly, the team is need of some good fortune, but whether it happens remains to be seen.