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