Saturday, October 31, 2009

Talladega II Qualifying Results

AMP Energy 500 Starting Lineup
(Qualifying was rained out - set by rule book)

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

Talladega II Statistics

AJ only has two starts at Talladega Superspeedway prior to this weekend's race. The #84 Red Bull entry did not qualify for either of the 2007 outings, even though AJ was one of the top 10 qualifiers for the fall race that year.

In 2008, the spring Talladega race marked AJ's return to the car after being replaced by Mike Skinner for five races. It also marked the first race with the Silver Red Bull car. And while AJ got a stellar 4th place starting spot, his status as a go or go home driver hurt the team's efforts in the race. With having to qualify on time, the team had a qualifying setup under the car which was not conducive to long runs. The team planned to take the car behind the wall on the first caution to make the 84 entry race ready. Unfortunately, AJ ended up being the first caution as a tire blew and he hit the wall.

Late in 2008 Team Red Bull made the decision to oust AJ from his ride before the end of the season, and with no other ride at the time - AJ was not in a car at all for the fall race. However, that race was the catalyst for at that time Gillett Evernham Motorsports to part ways with driver Patrick Carpentier, and ultimately led to AJ driving Pat's car for the end of the 2008 season after a one race stint in Michael Waltrip Racing's 00 car.

With good runs in the first five races of 2009 putting him solidly in the top 35, AJ had garnered the status as a locked in driver by this year's spring Dega race. AJ qualified at the back of the field in 38th position and was working his way to the front along with his teammates when an early wreck ruined his day. He finished the race in 35th position.

Running in the draft is something that takes experience to be able to do well, and while AJ had a good run at Daytona earlier this year, the four and five wide style of Dega is a whole different animal. With only two races under his belt and both of those ending very early, AJ will have to spend much of this Sunday's race getting comfortable in the draft and finding some friends to work with at the end.

Talladega Statistics

Spring 2007
Did Not Qualify

Fall 2007
Did Not Qualify

Spring 2008
Started 4th, Finished 30th

Fall 2008
Did Not Race

Spring 2009
Started 38th, Finished 35th

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Talladega II Preview

AJ Allmendinger visits Talladega Speedway--the final restrictor plate race of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season--with hopes of equaling or bettering his third-place run at the season-opening Daytona 500 in February. In three restrictor plate races this season, Allmendinger has scored the 14th most points of any driver. He'll pilot the No. 44 Hunt Brothers Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports this weekend.

AJ ALLMENDINGER: "We've run pretty well at restrictor plate tracks this season. We finished third at Daytona in February and then were pretty decent there in July, then we got caught in a wreck on lap 7 at Talladega. That's kind of the way this racing goes. If you miss the wrecks you will probably have a good day. If you don't miss the wreck it doesn't matter how fast you run. Your day will be junk."

RICHARD PETTY: "The secret to running well at Talladega is to have a fast car. I know that sounds simple but we used to go down there and get beat because we weren't fast enough. Handling doesn't matter as much as having a car that will go fast. If you do that and miss all the wrecks you'll have a pretty good day."

* Sunday's race marks Allmendinger's 77th start in the Sprint Cup series and third at Talladega.

* Allmendinger owns four top-10 finishes in 2009. He finished third at Daytona, seventh at Infineon and Dover and ninth at Martinsville.

* Allmendinger will sign autographs at the Richard Petty Motorsports souvenir hauler at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday at Talladega.

* Allmendinger will judge a Halloween costume contest at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Sprint Experience at track with Rutledge Wood and Miss Sprint.

Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports

Monday, October 26, 2009

Martinsville II Post-race Quotes

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger)
Finished 21st

"It was an interesting day for sure with our Best Buy Dodge. Anytime that you start 40th at Martinsville, it's going to make for some tough sledding. We fought a race car that was tight in the center all day and couldn't get our car to turn through the middle of the corner. But I'm proud of my guys because we worked our way all the way up to third and we're running with the leaders until the car just fell off a bit."


REED SORENSON (No. 43 McDonald's Dodge Charger)
Finished 24th

"My guys never gave up today. We just couldn't get the handling down on our McDonald's Dodge. We made a ton of changes, but never could get the car where we wanted it. But we stayed out of trouble and had good stops today. We did what we needed to do."


KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Finished 32nd

"It definitely wasn't our day. I can't tell you what happened when our tire went down, but the car just went around on me in Turn three and I was in the wall. We had some pretty significant damage to the fuel cell area, but the team was able to fix that. Then I just got loose a few laps later and up into the wall again. This hasn't been a great track for us, so we need to work on that. It was a pretty frustrating day."


AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Coleman Natural Foods Dodge Charger)
Finished 34th

"Not much I can say. We just got taken out today. The 20 car (Logano) crashed us. Until then we were working on the car and getting it better. Our lap times were good and we were just trying to conserve our stuff and be there at the end."

Martinsville II Race Results

Tum's Fast Relief 500 Finishing Order
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Juan Pablo Montoya
4. Kyle Busch
5. Jeff Gordon
6. Jamie McMurray
7. Ryan Newman
8. Mark Martin
9. Tony Stewart
10. Kevin Harvick
11. Brian Vickers
12. Joey Logano
13. Bobby Labonte
14. Matt Kenseth
15. Jeff Burton
16. David Reutimann
17. Kurt Busch
18. Casey Mears
19. Clint Bowyer
20. Carl Edwards
21. Elliott Sadler
22. David Ragan
23. Paul Menard
24. Reed Sorenson
25. Greg Biffle
26. John Andretti
27. Marcos Ambrose
28. Martin Truex, Jr.
29. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
30. Michael Waltrip
31. Scott Speed
32. Kasey Kahne
33. David Stremme
34. AJ Allmendinger
35. Sterling Marlin
36. Sam Hornish, Jr.
37. Robby Gordon
38. Joe Nemechek
39. David Gilliland
40. Dave Blaney
41. Michael McDowell
42. Derrike Cope
43. Travis Kvapil

Martinsville II Post-qualifying Quotes

REED SORENSON (No. 43 McDonald's Dodge Charger)
Qualified 9th
"A good lap for our McDonald's Dodge. This is a tough place to qualify. Your tire pressures are high, brakes are hot, and it's not easy. It seems like when you qualify here, you either over-drive or under-drive the car. You have to hit your line just right and try to roll it faster through the corner. We had a good car in qualifying. It felt good in race trim this morning. We made a few changes after practice .and the car liked them."


AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Coleman Natural Foods Dodge Charger)
Qualified 16th
"The car was decent. I think that the car was better than the driver on that lap. I don't know what I was so nervous about qualifying. I remembered that I haven't been back here for qualifying for two years because it was rained out the last few times. I should have gotten a little bit more out of the car. We'll be OK. I think we're pretty good in race trim. If we don't practice tomorrow because of rain, I think that we'll have a good place to start the race on Sunday."


KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Qualified 26th
"I think that I drove our Budweiser Dodge a little too hard into Turn 1 and maybe too easy in Turn 3. The car actually felt pretty good. I just messed up on my marks a little bit. It didn't run as fast as it should have, but I still think that our car is pretty fast.
"The times are so close that the smallest hiccup will cost you a bunch of time. Everyone is on the same playing field; you have to be really consistent in every lap."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger)
Starting 40th
“We’re in a tough spot for sure. Martinsville is the smallest track in the (Sprint Cup) Series so it’s easy to fall behind fast if the race starts on a long green flag run. We made a calculated risk based on an iffy weather forecast for tomorrow to work on our race setup for the Best Buy Dodge instead of our qualifying setup. Hopefully we made the right call because we have to make up a lot of ground.”

Martinsville II Qualifying Results

Tums 500 Starting Lineup
1. Ryan Newman
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Mark Martin
5. David Reutimann
6. Casey Mears
7. Joey Logano
8. Bobby Labonte
9. Reed Sorenson
10. Kevin Harvick
11. David Stremme
12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
13. Tony Stewart
14. David Ragan
15. Jimmie Johnson
16. AJ Allmendinger
17. Denny Hamlin
18. Scott Speed
19. Clint Bowyer
20. Greg Biffle
21. Juan Pablo Montoya
22. Jeff Burton
23. Jamie McMurray
24. Brian Vickers
25. Travis Kvapil
26. Kasey Kahne
27. John Andretti
28. Joe Nemechek
29. Carl Edwards
30. Paul Menard
31. Sam Hornish Jr.
32. Matt Kenseth
33. Robby Gordon
34. Marcos Ambrose
35. David Gilliland
36. Michael Waltrip
37. Kurt Busch
38. Sterling Marlin
39. Dave Blaney
40. Elliott Sadler
41. Kyle Busch
42. Michael McDowell
43. Derrike Cope
DNQ Josh Wise

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Martinsville II Preview

Richard Petty Motorsports' No. 44 pit crew helps its driver AJ Allmendinger every weekend on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. And they do it quite well. In 2009 the team has so far claimed two Tissot Pit Road Precision awards and finished runner up in the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge in May when it worked as the No. 43 Petty team.

Now the crew wants to play a role in something more important than racing--battling breast cancer and helping kids. The crew voted last week to donate a majority of the prize money it earned through the Tissot awards and pit stop competition to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Victory Junction.

"You rock and roll every Sunday supporting the race team and AJ in giving him fast pit stops. But this gives us an opportunity to support the community. We wanted to do something in the fight against breast cancer. We also wanted to find a way we could give underprivileged children a chance to attend the victory junction camp and experience the great campus the Petty's have up there."

"Those guys are great. Their work in the pits are great each week but what they are doing with their winnings is really cool. I admire them. I want so bad to give them a trip to victory lane. Having their support is priceless to me."

* Allmendinger's No. 44 Dodge will carry a Coleman Natural Food paint scheme this weekend in Martinsville.

* Allmendinger has two top-15 finishes in his last two Martinsville races.

* Saturday's race marks Allmendinger's 76th start in the Sprint Cup series.

* Allmendinger owns four top-10 finishes in 2009. He finished third at Daytona, seventh at both Infineon and Dover, and ninth at Martinsville.

Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Monday, October 19, 2009

Charlotte II Post-race Quotes

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Finished 3rd
"We had a great Budweiser Dodge throughout the race. The tires we took on the last stop shook and didn't turn. I guess that was our bad set for the night. It's disappointing. We had the car to beat and the guy who beats everybody beat us tonight. Our car was as good as anything here. We just didn't get it done at the end.

YOU HAD SOME TIRE ISSUES THERE AT THE END, BUT YOU FINISHED THIRD AND MOVED UP TWO SPOTS FROM 11TH TO NINTH IN THE POINTS. HOW GOOD WAS YOUR CAR? "We had a really good Budweiser Dodge. We were up there. Matt (Kenseth) was up there and a couple other guys that seem to be there all night. Jimmie (Johnson) was one of them. We weren't good enough that final run. We were the best car at times, but the final run when it counted, we weren't. Jimmie showed up and beat us all.

RESTARTS APPEARED DIFFICULT FOR YOU. CAN YOU CLARIFY WHAT THE PROBLEM MIGHT BE? "I always have a problem when I start off the front row this whole year with restarts. I just spin my tires. I try not to give it throttle and don't spin my tires and I get pushed from behind.

CAN YOU OFFER ANY HOPE TO THE FANS OUT THERE THAT THIS THING IS NOT OVER YET? "I don't think either of us can stop him at this point as far as points go. It's definitely not over. Anything can happen the rest of the year. If it doesn't, Jimmie is the guy to beat."


REED SORENSON (No. 43 Super 8 Dodge Charger)
Finished 21st
"Our Super 8 Dodge would go from loose to tight in a blink of the eye. Just real extreme changes for no reason. I think we might have had something break in the car because it would change so fast."


AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Best Buy Dodge Charger)
Finished 23rd
"That was a tough race. We were a lot better on long runs than we were on short runs. We have to find a way to get more grip. We had our moments when the Best Buy Dodge was really good and then started to struggle."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Stanley/Susan G. Koman Dodge Charger)
Finished 26th
"Man, I just wish we could've had a caution earlier in the race. I think we were in position for a lucky dog for almost 100 laps until the last green flag round of pit stops put us another lap down. Our Stanley/Susan G. Komen for the Cure Dodge was pretty good once we got going, but we struggled a little bit at the start of each race run. I wish we could have finished a little better for our "Lady in Pink" Brandy Hickman and also for my Mom--both of our breast cancer survivors with us tonight."

Credit: Dodge Motorsports

Charlotte II Results

Bank of America 500 Finishing Order
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Kasey Kahne
4. Jeff Gordon
5. Joey Logano
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Casey Mears
8. Kyle Busch
9. Martin Truex, Jr.
10. Kurt Busch
11. Ryan Newman
12. Brad Keselowski
13. Tony Stewart
14. Jeff Burton
15. David Reutimann
16. Greg Biffle
17. Mark Martin
18. Kevin Harvick
19. David Stremme
20. David Ragan
21. Reed Sorenson
22. Marcos Ambrose
23. AJ Allmendinger
24. Mike Bliss
25. David Gilliland
26. Elliott Sadler
27. Paul Menard
28. Scott Speed
29. Bill Elliott
30. Robby Gordon
31. Bobby Labonte
32. Michael Waltrip
33. Jamie McMurray
34. Brian Vickers
35. Juan Pablo Montoya
36. John Andretti
37. Terry Labonte
38. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
39. Carl Edwards
40. Sam Hornish, Jr.
41. Max Papis
42. Denny Hamlin
43. Joe Nemechek

Friday, October 16, 2009

Charlotte II Post-qualifying Quotes

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Qualified 3rd

"It was a really good lap for our Budweiser Dodge. We ran right about where we were in practice earlier today. I think that I gave up a little on entry in Turn 3 and that's probably where I lost time to Jimmie (Johnson). There's a lot of grip out there. It's really fast. It's really good right now. It was a good qualifying lap for us. I wish that I had another lap."

HOW MUCH WAS IT A BENEFIT FOR THE PRACTICE TODAY TO BE AT THE SAME TIME AS THE RACE ON SATURDAY? "It's qualifying practice today. I'm actually happy that NASCAR went ahead and found time to get practice in and qualifying because I think that qualifying here is a lot of fun and it's a big part of the weekend. I'm glad (NASCAR) went ahead and stayed a little late because we got qualifying in and that's good."

ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH HOW FAST THE SPEEDS ARE HERE THIS WEEKEND? "Yeah, I think that the track had a lot of grip tonight. When (the track) has grip...both ends of the car...front and rear...the car is in the track. The car drove really good and that's Kenny Francis and our whole Richard Petty Motorsports team who did a nice job getting our car balanced and keep working on the car to get it to go around the track like that. Our engine program is getting better. We have one of the better engines that we've had all year tonight and it shows. I think everything is getting better and when you have a track like this with a lot of grip it's going to go fast."


AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Best Buy Dodge Charger)
Qualified 26th

"That's right about where our Best Buy Dodge was in practice. We've got a lot of practice time tomorrow to get our car better for Saturday night's race."


REED SORENSON (No. 43 Super 8 Dodge Charger)
Qualified 37th
"That wasn’t really what we had in mind for our Super 8 Dodge, but we still have all day on Friday to get it right before the race comes on Saturday night. I think we have something that we can work with and we’ll get better. We have a good car and we’ll get it back to where it needs to be by race time."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Stanley/Susan G. Koman Dodge Charger)
Qualified 38th

"We were just a little tighter than we wanted to be. We have some ground to make up, but I'm confident that we can do it in the race. This is such a special race for me and my team because we're running the Stanley/Susan G. Komen for the Cure Dodge in honor of Stage Four breast cancer survivor Brandy Hickman. Plus, with everything that my Mom has gone through in her battle with breast cancer over the last couple years it just makes this race really special. We'll go out on Saturday night and give it all we've got to bring home a top finish."

Credit: Dodge Motorsports

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Charlotte II Qualifying Results

Bank of America 500 Starting Lineup
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Mark Martin
3. Kasey Kahne
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Tony Stewart
6. Ryan Newman
7. Mike Bliss
8. Brad Keselowski
9. Jeff Gordon
10. Kyle Busch
11. Clint Bowyer
12. Joey Logano
13. Marcos Ambrose
14. David Gilliland
15. Kurt Busch
16. Scott Speed
17. Denny Hamlin
18. Juan Pablo Montoya
19. Robby Gordon
20. Jamie McMurray
21. David Reutimann
22. Sam Hornish, Jr.
23. Greg Biffle
24. Bobby Labonte
25. Martin Truex, Jr.
26. AJ Allmendinger
27. David Stremme
28. Carl Edwards
29. David Ragan
30. Brian Vickers
31. Paul Menard
32. Kevin Harvick
33. Michael Waltrip
34. Jeff Burton
35. Joe Nemechek
36. Bill Elliott
37. Reed Sorenson
38. Elliott Sadler
39. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
40. Max Papis
41. John Andretti
42. Casey Mears
43. Terry Labonte (Past Champion)
DNQ Michael McDowell
DNQ Sterling Marlin
DNQ Dave Blaney
DNQ Travis Kvapil

Charlotte II Preview

AJ Allmendinger says this weekend's race in Charlotte might be the most important of the races remaining in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The 27-year-old Californian is making his 75th Sprint Cup start this weekend in the No. 44 Best Buy Dodge. The former open-wheel standout has shown improvement with each year in the sport posting four top-10 finishes in 2009 for Richard Petty Motorsports.

ALLMENDINGER-- "This might be the biggest race we have left this season. You always want to run well no matter where we race, but just about anyone whose involved in the sport shows up at Charlotte at some point during the weekend. It's cool this will be my 75th race. It sure hasn't been easy at times but it's gone by pretty fast. I'm still learning. This is the toughest series in the world and they drivers that race here are as good as any other series. This is where I want to make my career. When you run well here you know you have beaten the best."

* Allmendinger will sign autographs at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Petty merchandise trailer for the first 100 fans who obtain tickets.

* Fans visiting the Richard Petty Motorsports race shops in Statesville, N.C. are eligible for a 10 percent discount on souvenir merchandise if you are a Facebook or Twitter follower.

* Saturday's race marks Allmendinger's 75th start in Sprint Cup racin and his sixth race at Charlotte.

* Allmendinger's Walldinger Racing, Inc. is now officially headquartered in Charlotte.

* Allmendinger owns four top-10 finishes in 2009. He finished third at Daytona, seventh at Infineon and Dover and ninth at Martinsville.

* Allmendinger endured his first DNF of season Sunday in California. The Petty team owned only one DNF until last week at California when a multi-car accident eliminated all four cars.

Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fontana II Post-race Quotes

REED SORENSON (No. 43 Rosie’s Organic Chicken Dodge Charger)
Finished 31st
“That’s just a real frustrating day. We were racing in the top-15, had a shot at maybe even a top-10 and we just got caught up in that big mess. I hate that for my guys. Everyone really worked hard today and we were in position to have a good day—it just didn’t turn out that way. We’ll keep our heads up and try to do better in Charlotte.”


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Stanley Dodge Charger)
Finished 32nd
“That wasn’t the way we were hoping for that race to end. We were racing hard with a couple laps to go and I got pushed from behind by another car right into the No 88. I wish there was something that I could have done differently to change the outcome, but its one of those deals where you don’t have a lot of control. I hate it for my guys on the Stanley team—we all had a pretty impressive DNF streak going, but we couldn’t get it back out there with only six laps left.”


AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Dassault Systemes Dodge Charger)
Finished 33rd

"Eight laps to go and everyone is racing hard. We were racing hard and just were biding our time and then got caught up in that wreck. I'm proud of all my guys. When you're back in the pack you sometimes get caught up in stuff and today was our day. I saw a hole open up and could see the tunnel, see the end of it and then got hit in the right rear. That's all that it took.

"It's just a racing deal. When you run back there, you're going to get caught up in that stuff. We didn't run well today. I'm proud of everybody on our team. I'm not an easiest guy to keep calm when that happens. The guys just kept working hard. It's disappointing that we couldn't go to the finish."


KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Finished 34th

"I was following the 44, so I can't see anything. He (AJ Allmendinger) turned left to miss the wreck and I hit the wreck. I never heard that there was a wreck, so I hit it. We had a top six or seven car. Kurt (Busch) screwed up and we got in his mess. From there, we got in this wreck. It's disappointing to go out of the race like that when we had a good car."


KENNY FRANCIS (Crew Chief, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
"Our Budweiser Dodge was pretty good all day. We got our Budweiser Dodge inside the top 10 and thought that we could pass a few more cars on that restart when the 2 car got into us that just caused a chain reaction. We got all tore up, but got the car running pretty good again. We were looking for a good finish when that second wreck happened that finally knocked us out. It was a bummer of a deal to end a pretty good day."

Fontana II Results

Pepsi 500 Finishing Order
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Juan Pablo Montoya
4. Mark Martin
5. Tony Stewart
6. Carl Edwards
7. David Ragan
8. Kurt Busch
9. Clint Bowyer
10. Kevin Harvick
11. Casey Mears
12. Sam Hornish, Jr.
13. Matt Kenseth
14. Joey Logano
15. Ryan Newman
16. David Stremme
17. Michael Waltrip
18. David Reutimann
19. John Andretti
20. Greg Biffle
21. Scott Speed
22. Martin Truex, Jr.
23. Marcos Ambrose
24. Kyle Busch
25. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
26. Bobby Labonte
27. Paul Menard
28. Regan Smith
29. Brian Vickers
30. Jeff Burton
31. Reed Sorenson
32. Elliott Sadler
33. AJ Allmendinger
34. Kasey Kahne
35. Max Papis
36. Jamie McMurray
37. Denny Hamlin
38. Robby Gordon
39. Joe Nemechek
40. Michael McDowell
41. Dave Blaney
42. David Gilliland
43. Mike Bliss

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fontana II Post-qualifying Quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER (No 44 Dassault Systemes Dodge Charger)
Starting 12th (Previously 13th*)
"We got real loose coming to the green which hurt me a bit. Overall, I was happy with the lap. We made the car better from practice and it seems pretty quick in race trim. It's just too bad that we got loose because it really killed our RPMs."

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Starting 25th (Previously 26th*)
"Our lap was OK in our Budweiser Dodge. I over drove Turn 1 and kind of screwed that up. I think that I was decent in (Turns) 3 & 4. I felt pretty competitive there. We picked up from where we were in practice and that will get us a little bit better. It's still not going to be much of a lap."

REED SORENSON (No. 43 Rosie’s Organic Chicken Dodge Charger)
Starting 28th (Previously 29th*)
“It was alright. We have a little different package this weekend that we’re trying out. I think that we were 19th in practice, but felt that our car was better than that to be honest. I just think we missed our qualifying setup a little bit today.”

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Stanley Dodge Charger)
Starting 39th (Previously 40th*)
"Just disappointing. The No. 19 Stanley Dodge was hitting the race track in the corner and the car wouldn't turn the way we hoped it would. We'll get back to work on it and do our best to make it better for Sunday."

*David Reutimann originally qualified 2nd, but his time was disallowed after post-qualifying inspection showed too much pressure in a rear shock. Everyone else will move up in the qualifying order, and Reutimann will start 42nd. No other penalties are expected.

Fontana II Qualifying Results

Pepsi 500 Starting Lineup

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

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fontana II Statistics

AJ Allmendinger has a history of great qualifying efforts at Auto Club Speedway in his home state of California. This is the track where he put in his best qualifying effort to date in the Fall race last year. He started outside of Jimmie Johnson on the front row, and capitalized on the excellent track position to stay in the top 10 for much of the race and bring the #84 Red Bull car home in 14th position.

This time around he is with a new team, but hopes for another great starting spot and an even better finish for Richard Petty Motorsports. The #44 team struggled in the February race, but have made great strides throughout the year on the intermediate tracks. AJ is carrying 3D software innovator Dassault Systemes on the car this weekend for their first foray as a primary sponsor. Hopefully he will put their car safely at the front of the field and stay there all race long.

Average starting spot - 9th
Average finish - 20th

February 2007
Did Not Qualify

September 2007
Started 18th, Finished 18th

February 2008
Did Not Qualify (Rained Out)

August 2008
Started 2nd, Finished 14th

February 2009
Started 8th, Finished 29th

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fontana II Preview

AJ Allmendinger returns to California Speedway this weekend for the 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Fontana. The Los Gatos, Calif. native has scored the 15th most points of any driver in the last three races. Allmendinger started second and finished 14th in this race last year. He’ll drive the No. 44 Dassault Systemes Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports.

CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY— “You always want to do well in front of your family and friends. That’s what this weekend will be for me out in California and the next weekend will be for everyone in our sport when we race in Charlotte. It’s like having back-to-back home games if you are a football team. At least I’ll get a few more cheers during driver introductions in California. I’ve had a little bit of success at California Speedway. Nothing spectacular, but enough to where I know we can get done what we need to get done. I’d love to qualify second again, but I’ll take anywhere in the top 15. As good as our pit stops have been of late and if we can run like I think we will then we should have a pretty good day on Sunday."

Dassault Systemes (pronounced: duh-so-Systemes) is the second largest software company in Europe specializing in software that allows companies to create in 3-D. The Petty team along with nearly all Formula One teams use the Paris-based company’s software to design cars and components in virtual reality.“If you ever get to see some of the software Dassault has created you’ll know how high tech and how cool this company really is. You can’t walk through our engineering shop without seeing the engineers working on some part of our cars in 3-D or virtual reality,” said Allmendinger.

*Sunday marks Allmendinger’s 74th start in Sprint Cup racing.

*Follow Allmendinger and other Petty drivers at @rpmotorsports on Twitter.

*In just 34 races with the Petty team, Allmendinger has posted four of his best five career finishes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kansas Post-race Quotes

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Finished 6th
"The Budweiser Dodge was pretty decent. We got off a little bit, but the last two runs, last 100 laps, we were a top three or four car. The two tires didn't help us at the end. We thought more would take two. It seemed to work for some earlier in the race. Looking back, we probably should have taken four. Maybe we could have been top five with four. We decided on that together. We had a good car all day. We got behind there at one point, but fought back and got the Budweiser Dodge where it needed to be. We weren't that good on restarts; it just takes my car too long to get going, so the late cautions didn't help. Other than that, we had a solid day. We've always run pretty strong in all these Chase races and have pretty good cars this time of the year. I think we should be good in the final seven races. We're definitely a ways back (in the Chase point standings), but we gained a little today. It was an all-right day. This is a really good team. They do a great job. Last week, we fought hard and got eighth. This week, we actually had a good car. It's just tough battling all those guys, they run so good. California is another good track for us, a track we're pretty good at. We'll try to be solid top-10 again."

KENNY FRANCIS (Crew Chief, No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
"We had a decent finish. The Budweiser Dodge ended up sixth. The guys worked hard today. Kasey worked hard driving the car. It came down to strategy there at the end. It's tough to know what to do. Two tires had worked good for a lot of guys all day. We hadn't tried it all day, but thought, well, let's go ahead and try it even though there were a lot of laps left. It got us up front track-position wise. We had been running third to fourth and that moved us up to second. Too many of the others took four and they just overtook us. Sixth place is a real good finish for the Budweiser Dodge. We're happy with that. We had a little problem with debris that caused the car to overheat a little early. We finally got tape off and then it run too cool. That hurt us a little bit. The guys did a real good job. The car handled pretty good all day. The motor
ran pretty good all day. All in all, it was a good day. It's tough when you get up there in front. I figured more would take two. I thought for sure some of the guys in the back would take two, but it didn't happen. That was a lot of laps to take two tires. We tried two. It was a good finish for us."

AJ ALLMENDINGER (No. 44 Valvoline Dodge Charger)
Finished 17th
"Well, as bad as we struggled in practice on Saturday, I knew we had our work cut out for us today and we didn't run too bad. We struggled at the start of every run and then it would get going. The track was pretty tough today with the seams but we got a decent finish out of it."

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger)
Finished 20th

"That was some day. Our Dodge dodged wrecks all afternoon but we made it through. We are getting better and better each week. I think Wally Rodgers and I are making progress and that's showing in our results. Today was about survival. When you start 42nd and finish in the top 20 you have done something in this sport."

REED SORENSON (No. 43 McDonald's Monopoly Dodge Charger)
Finished 26th
"That was a tough race for us. We struggled with the handling. It seemed like everything we threw at it didn't help. We were just so loose at times I couldn't drive it and did all I could not to wreck. Kansas is a pretty tough track."

Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Kansas Results

Price Chopper 400 Finishing Order
1. Tony Stewart
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Greg Biffle
4. Juan Pablo Montoya
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Mark Martin
8. David Reutimann
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Carl Edwards
11. Kurt Busch
12. Kyle Busch
13. Brad Keselowski
14. Marcos Ambrose
15. Casey Mears
16. Martin Truex, Jr.
17. AJ Allmendinger
18. Sam Hornish, Jr.
19. Bill Elliott
20. Elliott Sadler
21. Clint Bowyer
22. Ryan Newman
23. Jeff Burton
24. Kevin Harvick
25. David Stremme
26. Reed Sorenson
27. Scott Speed
28. Joey Logano
29. Erik Darnell
30. Paul Menard
31. Jamie McMurray
32. Max Papis
33. John Andretti
34. Robby Gordon
35. David Ragan
36. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
37. Brian Vickers
38. Michael Waltrip
39. Matt Kenseth
40. Dave Blaney
41. Mike Bliss
42. Joe Nemechek
43. Bobby Labonte

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kansas Post-Qualifying Quotes

KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger)
Qualified 6th
"We picked up over a second from practice which is really good. We didn't make enough qualifying runs in practice today to really know where to be because we wanted to work on the race package for Sunday. I was bouncing a little bit too much getting into Turn 3 over the bumps and missed the corner. Otherwise, I think that we would have had a great shot at the pole."

HOW MUCH OF THAT WAS DUE TO THE WIND? "It was really the car. We just didn't make enough qualifying runs to figure out how to get the splitter off the track. It still was a really good lap. The wind didn't affect me too much."

QUALIFYING IS SO IMPORTANT HERE: "Yeah, starting in the top 10 here is awesome. I had a really good practice; we just didn't make that qualifying run which made us look bad."

WHERE DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE YOUR CAR BETTER FOR SUNDAY? "I think that it will be a lot different tomorrow if the wind isn't as bad. As of today, we just need to work on the exit of the corner."


AJ ALLMENDINGER (No 44 Valvoline Dodge Charger)
Qualified 15th
"We didn't start off really well in race trim. Hopefully, some of the things that we learned in qualifying trim will help us tomorrow. The conditions were really tough today. You really didn't know what to expect. Some guys that you expect to go really fast didn't. I may have left just a little bit out there.

I was just a little too tight in the center of the corner. Everybody on the 44 team is really working hard and it's been getting better. Hopefully, we got the monkey off our back last weekend and we can build off our qualifying run on Sunday."


REED SORENSON (No. 43 McDonald's Monopoly Dodge Charger)
Qualified 28th
"We'll be OK. Trying to figure out this track will be a key. We were OK in race trim during practice, but just fought the car all day. The pace slows down a lot here during the race. If you have a good car, you can make up some ground."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger)
Qualified 42nd
"We were just off on our qualifying setup. We didn't spend a lot of time in qualifying trim earlier in practice so it wasn't a big surprise that we were off a bit. We were pretty good in race trim in practice, so we should be okay for the race, but we have a lot of cars to pass."

Credit: Dodge Motorsports

Kansas Qualifying Results

Price Chopper 400 Starting Lineup
1. Mark Martin
2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Jamie McMurray
5. Tony Stewart
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Joe Nemechek
8. Clint Bowyer
9. Jeff Gordon
10. Scott Speed
11. Jimmie Johnson
12. Brian Vickers
13. David Reutimann
14. Juan Pablo Montoya
15. AJ Allmendinger
16. Bill Elliott
17. Carl Edwards
18. Joey Logano
19. Mike Bliss
20. Paul Menard
21. Martin Truex, Jr.
22. Denny Hamlin
23. Matt Kenseth
24. Dave Blaney
25. David Ragan
26. Bobby Labonte
27. Marcos Ambrose
28. Reed Sorenson
29. Michael Waltrip
30. Ryan Newman
31. Greg Biffle
32. David Stremme
33. Sam Hornish, Jr.
34. Kyle Busch
35. Jeff Burton
36. Casey Mears
37. Robby Gordon
38. Kevin Harvick
39. Kurt Busch
40. John Andretti
41. Erik Darnell
42. Elliott Sadler
43. Max Papis
DNQ David Gilliland
DNQ Michael McDowell
DNQ Kevin Hamlin

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kansas Statistics

AJ only has one prior start at the multi-groove Kansas Speedway. Both Red Bull cars missed the race in 2007. However, despite never having turned more than a handful of practice laps on the 1 1/2 mile oval, AJ managed to qualify the #84 Toyota in the 14th position in 2008 and brought it home in a season best 9th place.

For those that may not remember, that outing at Kansas marked AJ's last run with the Jimmy Elledge led Red Bull team after being unceremoniously ousted from the program before season's end. Deciding not to offer AJ a contract for 2009 apparently meant the company wanted to build for the next year with incoming Cup rookie Scott Speed. So despite still having a handful of races scheduled with the team, Red Bull cut AJ from the program altogether and left him standing on the sidelines looking for a ride.

With all of that going on, AJ managed to keep true to his nature and drove his hardest to get his crew the finish they deserved. The 84 team was only 11 points ahead of the top 35 cut off going into the race, and knowing that he was no longer welcome by the company, AJ could have easily sabotaged the team's efforts by dropping the car outside that magical line. Instead, he drove the car up into the top 5 in the beginning laps of the race. Then instead of losing heart after a pit road violation sent him clear back to 29th place, AJ rallied back to a top 10 finish. His efforts put the 84 team up to 33rd place in the owner's points standings and gave them a cushion so AJ's replacement wouldn't have to qualify on time.

Now AJ is heading back to the versatile Kansas track on the heels of a strong 7th place run at Dover. After only logging two top ten finishes with Team Red Bull, the California native is now trying for his fifth top ten of the season with Richard Petty Motorsports, a team with which he has earned four of the five best finishes in his career to date. Look for AJ to be strong this weekend.

Kansas Preview

Sunday's seventh-place finish at Dover is AJ Allmendinger's best career finish outside a restrictor plate track or road course. It marked his fourth top-10 of the season and the third consecutive race he has raced inside the top-10 for a significant portion of the laps. This weekend, the Richard Petty Motorsports driver races the No. 44 Valvoline Dodge at Kansas Speedway where he finished ninth last year.

DOVER -- "We were pretty happy with the result. I wouldn't say I was surprised. If you go back and look at the last several races we have run really well until something weird happened at the end. (Crew Chief) Mike (Shiplett) and I are getting better each race. When we get to the track on Fridays we think we are a top 10 car and that's been true over the last few races. Sunday at Dover was the first time we've been able to turn a top-10 car into a top -10 finish. But, I think you are going to see more and more of that in the coming races. A run like we had at Dover gets you excited about going to the track. I think we'd race today if NASCAR would let us. It's cool to see the hard work paying off."

KANSAS -- "Kansas has been good to me. We ran pretty well there last year. I'm even more excited this time knowing the kind of cars and crew I have with me now. This is the best team I've raced with and I know we'll have good stuff this weekend. On Sunday I'll have one of the best pit crews in the sport. We probably passed a half dozen cars in the pits at Dover and I have no reason to doubt we can do that again in Kansas."

* Allmendinger will sign autographs at his merchandise hauler at 9:45 a.m. at Kansas on Sunday.

* Sunday marks Allmendinger's 73rd start in Sprint Cup racing.

* In just 33 races with the Petty team, Allmendinger has posted four of his best five career finishes.

Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports PR