Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dover: Race Recap

The Autism 400 presented by Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips & Cheese at Dover International Speedway started on a good note with all four Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge Chargers in the top 10. By lap 6 however, AJ had quickly dropped back to 15th place and radioed in that the car was “incredibly loose.” As the run went on AJ maintained his position and eventually moved up the track a lane to help his drive off. By lap 26, he was the fastest car on the track and holding steady in 16th place.

The 44 car pitted from 15th position under the competition yellow at lap 31 where crew chief Sammy Johns made an air pressure adjustment as well as a wedge adjustment. A couple cars put on just two tires and AJ returned to the track in 19th position. After getting going again, AJ radioed in that the car was just a bit tighter in the center of the corner, but that he still had no drive off. Working the high side of the track seemed to help, and AJ continued to tick off top 10 lap times.

AJ came in for a green flag pit stop on lap 109 and Sammy changed 4 tires and went one round down on the track bar, hoping to give him more rear grip on gas coming off the corner. Unfortunately, NASCAR threw a debris caution in the middle of pit stops for some sheet metal that had come off the 34 car nearly 10 laps before!!! In my opinion that was a horrible call by NASCAR, and the resultant restart with half the field starting in front of the leader was a complete and utter joke.

Sammy left AJ out under the caution to try and get one of his two laps back by restarting in front of leader Jimmie Johnson, but the fresher tires of Johnson were no match for the 44 car, and AJ went a 2nd lap down right before another caution came out. From then on, AJ did everything he could to get at least one of his laps back. By lap 200, AJ was again rolling the top side and putting down the fastest laps on the track. He motored past Carl Edwards in 4th and Mark Martin in 3rd before trying to chase down the 2nd place car of Denny Hamlin.

Running the high side took its toll on Lap 224 however, when AJ jumped on the radio and reported that he had a right side flat. He came in and the team changed all 4 tires, hoping that green flag pit stops would cycle out and put them back to where they had been running. Luck was not with AJ today though, and the caution flew again on Lap 231 when 2nd place Hamlin also lost a right front tire and hit the wall hard.

With AJ now 4 laps down and no way to get them back through the Lucky Dog rule, the 44 team decided to use the rest of the race as an R & D session. Making multiple changes to the car on each stop to try and improve the handling, AJ simply stayed out of the way and took care of his equipment for the rest of the race, avoiding a few late race accidents. He brought the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper car home in 29th place, 4 laps down.

In my opinion, this race was by no means as good as they were trying to make it on TV. There was side by side racing, but at one point the 48 car of Jimmie Johnson was nearly half a lap ahead of the second place car of teammate Mark Martin. Even as the end of the race unfolded and you didn’t know for sure if Greg Biffle or Tony Stewart might pull off a win on a strategy call, I still wasn’t impressed.

To me, good racing is when there is parity and not just one car or team dominating. I compare the race today to what the Truck races are like whenever Kyle Busch is in the field. There is no point in watching, because you know he is going to be up front leading the race all day long. He may not always end up winning, but it is still going to be a crappy race.

The only thing that made me laugh all day was the following comment from the race scanner. “NASCAR is throwing an awful lot of debris cautions today. Might be a reason why their TV ratings are down.” I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment. Perhaps debris cautions were the only way NASCAR could think of to catch the field back up to the 48 car.

Let’s move on to Pocono, where AJ had a couple of top 20 runs last year. And maybe someone should send AJ a lucky horseshoe . . . just in case.

Dover: Race Results

Dover Race Results
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Tony Stewart
3. Greg Biffle
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Kurt Busch
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Carl Edwards
8. Ryan Newman
9. Casey Mears
10. Mark Martin
11. Clint Bowyer
12. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
13. Sam Hornish, Jr.
14. Jamie McMurray
15. Joey Logano
16. Jeff Burton
17. Kevin Harvick
18. David Reutimann
19. Reed Sorenson
20. Marcos Ambrose
21. Martin Truex, Jr. – 1 lap
22. Regan Smith – 1 lap
23. Kyle Busch – 1 lap
24. David Ragan – 1 lap
25. Brian Vickers – 1 lap
26. Jeff Gordon – 2 laps
27. Elliott Sadler – 2 laps
28. Bobby Labonte – 3 laps
29. AJ Allmendinger – 4 laps
30. Juan Pablo Montoya – 5 laps
31. David Stremme – 30 laps
32. Paul Menard – 37 laps
33. Robby Gordon – 118 laps
34. John Andretti – 147 laps
35. Michael Waltrip – 150 laps
36. Denny Hamlin – 168 laps
37. Scott Speed – 282 laps
38. Joe Nemechek – 333 laps
39. Dave Blaney – 334 laps
40. Mike Bliss – 344 laps
41. Mike Skinner – 349 laps
42. Tony Raines – 358 laps
43. David Gilliland – 362 laps

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dover: Happy Hour Results

AJ and the #44 Auto Value Dodge team worked hard in Saturday's final practice to perfect the car setup for Sunday's race. They are starting in the 7th position when the green flag waves, and hopefully have a good enough car to hang in the top 10. Go get em, AJ!!!

Richard Petty Motorsports
Kasey Kahne
Laps Run – 27
Fast Lap – 149.483
Average Speed – 147.875

AJ Allmendinger
Laps Run – 61
Fast Lap – 148.509
Average Speed – 145.674

Reed Sorenson
Laps Run – 33
Fast Lap – 147.996
Average Speed – 145.891

Elliott Sadler
Laps Run – 59
Fast Lap – 147.753
Average Speed – 145.653

Happy Hour Results
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kyle Busch
4. Martin Truex, Jr.
5. Casey Mears
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Mark Martin
8. Greg Biffle
9. Jamie McMurray
10. David Ragan
11. David Gilliland
12. Kasey Kahne
13. Tony Stewart
14. Matt Kenseth
15. Ryan Newman
16. Joey Logano
17. Jeff Gordon
18. Sam Hornish, Jr.
19. Kurt Busch
20. Carl Edwards
21. David Reutimann
22. David Stremme
23. Juan Pablo Montoya
24. Paul Menard
25. Bobby Labonte
26. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
27. AJ Allmendinger
28. Michael Waltrip
29. Marcos Ambrose
30. Brian Vickers
31. Jeff Burton
32. Regan Smith
33. Reed Sorenson
34. Scott Speed
35. Kevin Harvick
36. Elliott Sadler
37. Robby Gordon
38. Mike Bliss
39. Joe Nemechek
40. John Andretti
41. Mike Skinner
42. Tony Raines
DNP – Dave Blaney

Dover: Practice Two Results

Practice two is over, and the #44 Auto Value Dodge Charger ended up 33rd on the board. After struggling to find some grip for the 400 mile race on Sunday, AJ and the 44 team will continue to search and fine tune their race setup in Happy Hour.

Richard Petty Motorsports

Kasey Kahne
Laps Run – 35
Fast Lap – 153.139
Average Speed – 149.057

Reed Sorenson
Laps Run – 15
Fast Lap – 148.883
Average Speed – 148.201

AJ Allmendinger
Laps Run – 25
Fast Lap – 148.650
Average Speed – 146.749

Elliott Sadler
Laps Run – 9
Fast Lap – 147.844
Average Speed – 147.078

Practice 2 Results
1. Kyle Busch
2. Kasey Kahne
3. David Reutimann
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Jamie McMurray
6. Greg Biffle
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Carl Edwards
9. Brian Vickers
10. Clint Bowyer
11. Tony Stewart
12. Denny Hamlin
13. Ryan Newman
14. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
15. Kurt Busch
16. Mark Martin
17. Casey Mears
18. Marcos Ambrose
19. Jeff Gordon
20. David Gilliland
21. Martin Truex, Jr.
22. Jeff Burton
23. Juan Pablo Montoya
24. David Ragan
25. Paul Menard
26. Dave Blaney
27. Sam Hornish, Jr.
28. Joey Logano
29. Bobby Labonte
30. Kevin Harvick
31. Reed Sorenson
32. David Stremme
33. AJ Allmendinger
34. Regan Smith
35. Michael Waltrip
36. Elliott Sadler
37. Mike Skinner
38. Scott Speed
39. Joe Nemechek
40. Mike Bliss
41. Robby Gordon
42. John Andretti
43. Tony Raines

Dover: RPM Qualifying Quotes

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Qualified 2nd
"That was a good lap for our Budweiser Dodge. It was real similar to where we were in practice as far as speed goes; going out first hurt us a bit. The car was fast all day. I'm real happy with the car and the way that it drove. The new R6 Dodge engine was great. The guys back at the shop gave us a real fast race car."

"Not really. Usually here there's a big difference from practice to qualifying, but not today. The track felt very similar to practice and drove the same. I would say it was pretty close."

"So far in practice I can really tell the difference. I can really get off the corner and on to the straightaway because of the torque it has compared to the R5. The new engine is something that we've needed and I think that it's going to be really good with cars around me as well."

"Not at all. With where we're at in the Chase standings, we need to get any advantage that we can and this new R6 certainly helps provide more horsepower. We started making gains about a month ago and we have to keep improving our Budweiser Dodge to catch the guys in front of us."


REED SORENSON (No. 43 Air Force Dodge Charger)
Qualified 4th
"That was a good lap for our Air Force Dodge. We ran nearly the same lap times as we did in practice which is a positive for us. We unloaded pretty good off the track and the car has been pretty decent all day. The great news is that we have an awesome baseline to work from with two more practices tomorrow."


AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Auto Value Dodge Charger)
Qualified 7th
"It was a decent lap. Obviously, we've been struggling in qualifying trim the last few races which has set us back a bit for race trim. The good news is that we spent a lot of time in race trim during practice and I think that we have a solid baseline to work from for tomorrow. All of the Petty Dodge's looks to be pretty fast off the hauler which is really cool. The (lap) times are so close here that to come out and place our Auto Value Dodge inside the top 10 in qualifying is great."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Stanley Tools Dodge Charger)
Qualified 10th
"It was a decent lap for our Stanley Tools Dodge. We struggled a bit in practice in qualifying trim, but the crew made some changes and they worked. We'll get a decent starting spot for tomorrow and get ready for Sunday."

Credit: Dodge Motorsports

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dover: Starting Lineup

What an absolutely amazing qualifying run for Richard Petty Motorsports!!! All four cars are starting in the top 10 on Sunday’s 400 mile race. Let’s hope that they can get their Dodge’s dialed in just right in race trim during the two practices scheduled for Saturday. Rain has washed out the truck race for Friday night, but the forecast for the rest of the weekend looks good. Rain, rain, stay away – we need the practice.

1. David Reutimann
2. Kasey Kahne
3. Juan Pablo Montoya
4. Reed Sorenson
5. Greg Biffle
6. Kyle Busch
7. AJ Allmendinger
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Brian Vickers
10. Elliott Sadler
11. Ryan Newman
12. Sam Hornish, Jr.
13. Carl Edwards
14. Matt Kenseth
15. Martin Truex, Jr.
16. Denny Hamlin
17. Casey Mears
18. Jamie McMurray
19. Kurt Busch
20. Marcos Ambrose
21. Joey Logano
22. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
23. Scott Speed
24. David Gilliland
25. Clint Bowyer
26. David Ragan
27. Bobby Labonte
28. Mark Martin
29. Michael Waltrip
30. David Stremme
31. Tony Stewart
32. Jeff Burton
33. Regan Smith
34. Mike Skinner
35. Kevin Harvick
36. Paul Menard
37. Mike Bliss
38. Joe Nemechek
39. Dave Blaney
40. Robby Gordon
41. John Andretti
42. Jeff Gordon
43. Tony Raines

DNQ Brad Keselowski
DNQ Max Papis
DNQ Derrike Cope
DNQ David Starr

Dover: First Practice Results

AJ started off first practice at the bottom of the speed chart, but the team made some changes and he eventually worked his way up to mid-pack in times. He goes out 15th on the grid for qualifying. Hopefully he can improve on his practice speed and get a good starting position.

Richard Petty Motorsports
Kasey Kahne
Laps Run – 25
Fast Lap - 157.048
Average Speed – 151.242

Reed Sorenson
Laps Run – 24
Fast Lap – 156.148
Average Speed – 151.361

AJ Allmendinger
Laps Run – 19
Fast Lap – 155.367
Average Speed – 151.100

Elliott Sadler
Laps Run – 28
Fast Lap – 154.652
Average Speed – 150.395

Practice 1 Results
1. David Reutimann
2. Kasey Kahne
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Ryan Newman
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Greg Biffle
7. Matt Kenseth
8. Kurt Busch
9. Kyle Busch
10. Carl Edwards
11. Reed Sorenson
12. David Stremme
13. Clint Bowyer
14. Brian Vickers
15. Martin Truex, Jr.
16. Denny Hamlin
17. Sam Hornish, Jr.
18. Juan Pablo Montoya
19. Bobby Labonte
20. Jamie McMurray
21. Casey Mears
22. David Gilliland
23. David Ragan
24. AJ Allmendinger
25. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
26. Paul Menard
27. Mark Martin
28. Marcos Ambrose
29. Joey Logano
30. Tony Stewart
31. Joe Nemechek
32. Elliott Sadler
33. Regan Smith
34. Jeff Burton
35. Michael Waltrip
36. Mike Bliss
37. Mike Skinner
38. Dave Blaney
39. Brad Keselowski
40. Kevin Harvick
41. Scott Speed
42. Tony Raines
43. John Andretti
44. Robby Gordon
45. Max Papis
46. Derrike Cope
47. David Starr

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dover Statistics

The high banked mile long concrete track at Dover, Delaware is often dubbed Bristol on steroids. AJ Allmendinger has an average starting spot of 19th and an average finish of 36th at the Monster Mile. Those statistics aren’t necessarily indicative of how he has run there however, as two of his only four starts at the track were marred by mechanical problems. Expect to see AJ digging right along that inside line on Sunday, rooting his way to the front.

June 2007
Started 43rd, Finished 33rd

September 2007
Started 11th, Finished 43rd (Blown engine)

June 2008
Started 8th, Finished 37th (Broken fuel pump cable)

September 2008
Started 30th, Finished 16th

Dover: AJ Allmendinger Preview

AJ Allmendinger isn't one to fall behind the times. The 27-year-old Californian designs his own apparel including his popular black AJ hats. Now he is branching out to embrace the digital age as the Richard Petty Motorsports driver has begun twittering for his fan club members.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them. Allmendinger has been posting his tweets since last weekend offering his take on practice, qualifying, the weather or anything else that happens to run through his mind at the time. To join Allmendinger's fan club and receive his tweets visit

This weekend Allmendinger will twitter from Dover where he'll drive the No. 44 Auto Value Bumper to Bumper paint scheme for the first time in the 2009 season.

ALLMENDINGER ON TWITTERING-- "Its been pretty fun so far. It's something we started as an added bonus to our fan club members and it's been taking off from there. I don't know how many followers I have so far but I hear back from a lot of people. I try to do it several times each day. Its not like going to be ripping on other drivers or talking about stuff that will get me in trouble but it probably won't be limited to racing. The only thing I was told by my business manager was no sex or profanity. Despite that, I thought I would give it a try any way and it's been fun."

ALLMENDINGER ON DOVER--"We need a good run. It's like we have been in a rut the last few weeks. I got into the wall pretty good early on at Charlotte and we just didn't have enough time to get the car fixed and get back up with the leaders before it rained. Our times were fast enough I know we would have gotten our lap back. But that's been our luck of late. It can all turn around at Dover though."

* Allmendinger will sign autographs at his merchandise hauler at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday in Dover.
* Allmendinger finished 16th in the fall race at Dover
* Allmendinger will drive chassis 269 this weekend.
* All Petty cars will carry a four-inch round Autism Speaks decal on the car at Dover.

Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports PR

About Me

There are two sides to every coin. I am a wife and mom, but also a daughter and sister. I am both an employee and a business owner. I have a math degree and two tattoos. I am an insurance agent who loves to drag race. I am also a huge NASCAR fan. I have a lot of drivers that I like, but my all time #1 guy is AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #44 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge Charger.

I've been watching NASCAR intermittently since 2001, and my passion for it has grown exponentially each year. I am now a devotee who hasn't missed a race on television in almost two years. I have never been to a live race, but hope to someday in the near future.

I started following AJ shortly after he started his rookie year in Cup in 2007. His sense of humor and his positive attitude in his interviews drew my initial attention. Then I researched his history before coming to NASCAR and was impressed by his accomplishments. I think he is a very talented driver with the right mix of aggressiveness and patience. He is also intelligent and is now able to communicate what he needs in the car. Given the right equipment, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he has the ability to win a championship. Some people have laughed at me for saying that for the last two years, but when AJ hoists that Cup trophy over his head one day soon, I'm going to have the last laugh.

About This Blog

I decided to start this blog as a place to talk about my favorite subject – NASCAR. And more specifically – NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger. I wanted other AJ fans to have someplace where they can go and read all the news on the driver of the #44 car. So in this blog I will post things such as race previews, practice times, qualifying results, and a race recap after it is all said and done. I will also post links to articles of interest about AJ and Richard Petty Motorsports.

This blog is in no way intended to invade the privacy of the Allmendinger family. I do not know them personally, and am in no way affiliated with either them or Walldinger Racing, Inc. All content that is not my own shall credit the source.