Richard Petty Motorsports posted its third consecutive top-15 finish in a Ford Fusion as AJ Allmendinger notched a 13th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). Elliott Sadler finished ninth at Talladega in the Petty team's Ford debut and Allmendinger finished 10th at Texas Motor Speedway. Allmendinger hopes to extend the streak this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Phoenix race marked Allmendinger's eighth top-15 of the 2009 season.
AJ ALLMENDINGER: "We started the season off with a five race deal and turned it into a full season based on performance. That's no small feat in today's NASCAR and especially the Sprint Cup Series. The entire Richard Petty Motorsports team has worked hard to keep this car on the track and I can't thank them enough for their efforts. We have some great people here that take a lot of pride in what they do and it shows on the racetrack. Now that we've made the switch to Ford we are just trying to race as hard as we can and gain information to take into 2010, but I think this team has come a long way this season and I look forward to getting even better in 2010."
* Richard Petty Motorsports has run three races in Ford Fusions in 2009. Elliott Sadler finished ninth at Talladega and Allmendinger finished 10th at Texas and 13th at Phoenix.
* Allmendinger ran the final five races of 2008 in the No. 10 Dodge for Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM) with Mike Shiplett as the crew chief.
* In his only career Sprint Cup Series start at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Allmendinger started 43rd and finished 11th in the No. 10 Dodge for GEM.
* Sunday's race marks Allmendinger's 80th start in the Sprint Cup Series and second at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
* Allmendinger's 10th-place finish at Texas was the third-best career finish for Crew Chief Mike Shiplett. The second-year crew chief, who worked with Patrick Carpentier last season, finished seventh at Dover in September with Allmendinger and ninth at Daytona with driver Reed Sorenson in February.
Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports
Photo Credit: Lynne K