CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing during the offseason, Aric Almirola has increased his presence on social media.
Part of that is the social media strategy of the race team, but it also has been Almirola deciding to take a break from social media in 2017, which ended up being a frustrating final year at Richard Petty Motorsports.
"I'm sitting here in my motor home with my wife cooking dinner and my two kids are playing on the floor in the motor home with race cars or Barbie dolls or whatever, and I'm sitting on my phone reading Twitter or playing on social media like, 'What am I doing? This is ridiculous,'" Almirola said Tuesday during NASCAR media days at the Charlotte Convention Center.
"I came to the point to where I was like, 'I'm done, I'm checking out.' People are writing me nasty things, like death threats."
Most of the comments weren't so threatening. They were more like: "I can't believe Richard Petty lets you drive this car. ... You're horrible. ... If he's not going to take you out of the car, I will. I will come down to North Carolina and do it myself."
So Almirola decided he would just focus on racing and not deal with the "second job" of social media.
"It has been somewhat liberating, to be honest," Almirola said. "But now, new team and trying to make sure we get the sponsors as much bang for their buck and as much exposure as we can. ... this has been a great avenue for us."