AJ Allmendinger knows he wouldn't be where he is today in his racing career if it wasn't for his father, Greg Allmendinger.
The former micro-midget driver gave up his racing career and, along with his wife Karen, made sacrifices to give their son an opportunity to pursue the dream Greg never had the money to reach.
The 27-year-old hopes a good race in the Best Buy Dodge at Infineon Raceway near his native Los Gatos, California, this weekend will be a fine Father's Day gift for Greg.
AJ ALLMENDINGER ON ROLE HIS DAD PLAYED IN CAREER- "He is everything in my career. Between him and my Mom, my Dad was racing before I was ever born, so I feel like I was born at a race track. Growing up I watched him race at the local dirt tracks in California. He gave up racing so we could afford me racing. He is my biggest fan. He even has an AJ tattoo. He's one of those Dad's that is always a part of my career. I'm racing because of him."
WOULD YOU DO SAME FOR YOUR CHILD SOME DAY? - "No. It's way too expensive ... seriously, I don't know if it would be the same thing for me. I'm fortunate enough to be doing this at the top level. He dreamed of racing, but he never had the opportunity to go big time racing. He's my biggest fan."
BEST FATHER'S DAY GIFT- "I won my first Champ car race in 2006 at Portland on Father's Day. He was pretty pumped up about that. I wouldn't mind that happen ing again this weekend at Infineon. That would be awesome."
GREG ALLMENDINGER ON SON'S CAREER- "Both Karen and I are very proud of AJ and what he has accomplished in his racing career. He hasn't had it easy by any means. He's had to work and struggle. But he's never given up. We've helped, but he's had to earn everything he has in life."
FATHER'S DAY WISH- "Oh that's easy. Let's win this race on Sunday!"
Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports PR