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Why NASCAR’s Aric Almirola is excited about Tom Brady joining the Bucs

“I think it’s going to be so great for our city," said Almirola, who grew up watching the Bucs at the Big Sombrero.

Add NASCAR’s Aric Almirola to the list of Tampa-area athletes excited about Tom Brady joining the Bucs.

“I think it’s going to be so great for our city,” the Hillsborough High alumnus said. “I think it’s going to be great for our team.”

Almirola can say our because he grew up a big Bucs fan. He went to games at the Big Sombrero, joining the small crowds to watch Vinny Testaverde and others. He remembers the days of the creamsicle uniforms, loved watching Mike Alstott and attended the Bucs’ first game at Raymond James Stadium. He even road-tripped with his friends from UCF back to Tampa to celebrate the Bucs’ Super Bowl 37 triumph.

All that means Almirola’s excitement about Brady is sincere.

Related: Why Bucs’ Mike Alstott is Aric Almirola’s favorite Tampa Bay athlete

“The guy is the greatest of all time,” said Almirola, who’s staying in Naples while he waits for the Cup Series to return from the COVID-19 pandemic. “He knows how to practice, he knows how to compete, he knows how to prepare — everything to be excellent.

“He knows what it takes to win Super Bowls, how to get the most out of everybody on his team. I’m excited for the for not only the fact that he’s coming but what he brings besides just that he’s a great quarterback, just his expectation of the guys around him.

“I think it’s going to elevate the level of play and the attitude of everybody on that team.”

Brady signed with the Bucs last month after spending the last 20 seasons with New England, where he guided the Patriots to six Super Bowl victories.