No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
• Los Gatos, Calif. native AJ Allmendinger will make his fifth start at Auto Club Speedway this Sunday
• Allmendinger marked his best start and finish at the southern California track in 2008 when he started from the outside pole before ending the 500-mile race in the 14th position
• Allmendinger was among 21 different race leaders in last week’s season-opening Daytona 500, leading three different times for a total of 11 laps
Allmendinger Heads To Home State: “Even though I’m from about 400 miles north of Fontana, I’m always happy to be back in California. I’m looking forward to racing in front of family and friends but it definitely adds some more pressure to perform well. I really want to get this No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion to Victory Lane and if I could make it happen this Sunday in my home state, that would be icing on the cake.
“We didn’t have the end to the Daytona 500 that we wanted so myself and this No. 43 Best Buy team are taking what we can from the last two weeks and looking ahead to this weekend. I’ve qualified decent at this track and we ran well last fall before we got caught up in an accident. With four Sprint Cup races under my belt at this track now, I know the lay of the land and know what I need to do and be prepared for. I’m confident Mike and the guys at the shop have built an awesome Best Buy Ford Fusion that will be competitive and I am just ready to get back on track and really show what this Richard Petty Motorsports team can do.”
Crew Chief Mike Shiplett On Track: “I’m really looking forward to heading to California. This two-mile track is a big horsepower track. With Roush-Yates Engines, we know this No. 43 team and all of the Richard Petty Motorsports teams will have the best horsepower in the garage. We had a good run with AJ (Allmendinger) at Auto Club Speedway last fall. We had a good handling car but it was tough because we ran into trouble and our day didn’t end like we wanted.
“Coming out of Daytona, which is so different from the next few tracks we will visit, you focus on the downforce, handling, and balance. I know this No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion will be strong this weekend if we keep the handling right and find the right balance.”
Chassis History: Crew chief Mike Shiplett and the No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion team have prepared chassis No. 277 for this weekend’s Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. This Ford Fusion was run as the No. 44 car with Richard Petty Motorsports last October at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Support the Paralyzed Veterans of America: Be sure to stop by the PVA’s display located on the front stretch Midway at Auto Club Speedway this weekend and enter a raffle to win a Jeep CJ-2A Willys restored by Petty's Garage. Visit http://www.pva.org/jeep.
Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports PR