AJ Allmendinger raced from back in the pack to the top 10 in the last two Sprint Cup races at Richmond and New Hampshire, but both ended with late race frustration. The 27-year-old Californian knows that he and his Mike Shiplett-led team raced very well in recent races and are close to posting some impressive finishes for Richard Petty Motorsports.
“It’s like a football team that takes a lead into the fourth quarter and gets beat in the final seconds or a baseball team that has trouble in the ninth. It’s really frustrating because you are so close. You don’t want to get so mad you throw away all the good, but you want to start finishing off what you started. We hurt ourselves at Richmond when we were running so well and then we had some help from other cars at New Hampshire last weekend. We are so close. If you watch these races you see how many cars we are passing and how good we are running. Our cars are getting better, our engine program is giving us good engines, Mike and I are improving our communication and our stops are great, so I’m pleased where this is headed. At Dover we have a chance to make this happen. We had a top 10 qualifying run there last time but a caution after our pit stop then a cut tire cost us four laps in the race and hurt our finish. We’ll avoid all that this time.”
*Allmendinger will sign autographs at his merchandise hauler at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
*All four Richard Petty Motorsports Dodges qualified in the top 10 at Dover in May.
*Sunday marks Allmendinger’s 72nd start in Sprint Cup racing.
*The No. 9 team’s mechanical issues last weekend at NHMS marked the team’s only DNF of the 2009 season among four cars.
*Follow Allmendinger and other Petty drivers at @rpmotorsports on Twitter
*Allmendinger has posted three top-11 qualifying runs in five attempts at Dover. His 2009 top-10 finishes came at Daytona, Martinsville and Infineon.