Univision Deportes, the sport division of Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, announced that Cuban American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Aric Almirola is nominated for the Best Car Racing Performance Award in the inaugural Premios Univision Deportes awards.
All nominations are based on athletic performance and accomplishments in 2014. Almirola became the first Cuban American driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when he captured his first win in the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway in July. The win secured him a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s official playoffs, which is again another first for a Cuban American driver in the sport.
“It’s an honor to be recognized not only for my Hispanic heritage but for my performance in NASCAR,” said Almirola. “With everything my family gave up to come to America and have a better life, I am so proud to be successful here and for my abuelosto know that their sacrifice led to me living my dream of being a successful racecar driver. This was definitely the best year of my racing career, so it’s really humbling to have that acknowledged by Univision Deportes.”
Almirola got his start in NASCAR when Joe Gibbs signed him to participate in the Joe Gibbs Racing/Reggie White Driver Diversity Program.
The then 19-year-old, was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida. He moved to North Carolina and began competing and winning in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. He signed fulltime to race the iconic No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2012.