Aric Almirola visits Lions practice in preparation for the FireKeepers Casino 400

Back deep to catch the booming punt for the Detroit Lions is Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. That is what happened when the Lions punter, Sam Martin wanted some extra work after practice. 

Almirola was in town to promote the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 9. As a fitness guru, he made it a point to stop by the Lions off-season strength session. He made the day extra special by including Alex, his son, who had the opportunity to play catch with QB Matthew Stafford.

Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn and Head Coach Matt Patricia welcomed Almirola to practice. They stood on the sidelines as the players went through the paces from the strength and conditioning staff to prepare for the 2019 season. 

Almirola was amazed at the different techniques the players utilized and how much work they did to get ready for the season. Patricia helped explain what the players were doing and how it carried over to the game. 

After practice, Almirola dropped back to catch punts from Martin. Almirola had a special instructor. WR Danny Amendola taught him the finer points of catching punts and reading the trajectory of the footballs. 

Then, the race car driver spent time in the weight room to see the different drills the players go through on a daily basis. He observed how the players performed footwork drills to improve agility for games. Almirola even jumped into a drill with DE Trey Flowers. 

Almirola ended his visit to Detroit with a stop at Ford’s Garage for a media luncheon to talk about the upcoming FireKeepers Casino 400.

Almirola is looking forward to coming back to Michigan in June. He enjoys racing at Michigan International Speedway, but is more impressed with what is available to the fans. He said that this is a family-friendly event. He cannot believe all the entertainment options for the fans. 

“It’s a very, very family-friendly atmosphere,” Almirola said. “For me as a kid, my first few experiences going to a race, I was hooked. You take a little kid, like Alex, to a racetrack and let him see cars go 200 miles per hour; and smell it and feel it and hear it. It’s an adrenaline rush unlike anything else.”

With the new free Pit and Driver Introduction Pass courtesy of Henry Ford Allegiance Health, any guest who purchases a kids 12 and under ticket to the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 9 or the Consumers Energy 400 on Aug. 11 will automatically receive a Pit and Driver Introduction Pass added to their order.

It has never been easier to purchase tickets and reserve a campsite at Michigan International Speedway in 2019. Fans can visit or call 888-905-7223 to get the best deals. Grandstand tickets start at $39 and week-long camping starts at $160.

Michigan International Speedway will continue to be a premier racing facility in 2019 when it hosts a pair of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. NASCAR’s most entertaining track will host the Monster Energy Series on June 9 and Aug. 11. 

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 is on June 9. The series will return on Aug. 11 for the Consumers Energy 400.

The XFINITY Series LTi Printing 250 is June 8, while the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Corrigan Oil 200 is scheduled for Aug. 10. 

Any guest who purchases a 12 and under ticket will automatically receive a free kids Pit and Driver Introduction Pass courtesy of Henry Ford Health System. Kids can experience pit road on Sunday morning, sign the start/finish line and view the cars and teams up close on race day. Kids will also have access to pre-race ceremonies, including driver introductions. 

NASCAR’s Most Entertaining Track continues to add entertainment to the campgrounds, fan plaza, pre-race and stage breaks to make the race week a cannot miss event. The nonstop entertainment at Michigan International Speedway during the FireKeepers Casino 400 race week provides something for every guest. The track continues to add value for the guests who camp and those who come just for the races. A speed painter will even be in victory lane after the FireKeepers Casino 400 to capture the race winning celebration.