AJ Allmendinger makes his Ford Racing debut this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver will race the remaining three races of the 2009 season in a Ford Fusion. Race fans will recognize the familiar “Petty Blue” and red paint scheme on No. 44 for the rest of the season. Last week at Talladega, Elliott Sadler drove a Ford to a ninth-place finish. Allmendinger will be the only Petty driver in a Ford in any of the remaining 2009 races.
AJ ALLMENDINGER: “This is exciting stuff. It’s like a new beginning for Richard Petty Motorsports. Whenever you do something new you are a little bit excited and a little bit nervous because you haven't done it before. Elliott drove a Ford for us at Talladega last week and everyone was really positive about the experience. It’s our turn this week tire testing a Ford in Daytona and we’ll drive one at Phoenix and Homestead as well.
“For us these next three weeks are just learning about what a Ford likes and dislikes as far as chassis setup and engine tuning. Nothing beats experience in this sport and the only way you get experience is by just doing it. So we are starting our learning curve this week and hopefully we will be a little bit further ahead for next season by doing this. We’re running the “King’s” old paint scheme with the Ford logo for the rest of the season. That might be the best paint scheme in racing. So it’s familiar paint but a new car this weekend. Like I said, Elliott ran great in a Ford in Talladega, now it’s our turn.”
*Ford’s win at Talladega was its 595th victory in Sprint Cup racing. Ford owns 14 manufacturer titles.
*Sunday’s race marks Allmendinger’s 78th start in the Sprint Cup series and fourth at Texas. He owns four top-10 finishes in 2009. He finished third in the Daytona 500 , seventh at Infineon and Dover and ninth at Martinsville.
*FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Follow Allmendinger and other Petty drivers at @rpmotorsports on Twitter. Also follow Ford Racing @fordracing
*In 1969, Richard Petty made 48 out of 50 starts in a Ford. He recorded nine wins, 29 top-fives, 36 top-10s and led 2,291 laps. Petty raced a Plymouth the first two races of the season recording a win at Macon and a second-place finish at Montgomery.
*Richard Petty’s last race driving a Ford entry was Dec. 2, 1969 at Texas World Speedway (College Station, Texas). Petty drove the entry to a 21st-place finish.
Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports PR