Friday, June 11, 2010

Michigan Preview

No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway
• Allmendinger’s best finish on the 2.0-mile track is 19th (2008)
• The driver is currently 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on Michigan International Speedway: “Michigan is a basic, really fast two-mile oval, but can sometimes be hard to wrap your arms around for some reason. Sometimes it comes down to fuel mileage, sometimes there are a bunch of cautions and sometimes you can go 100 laps caution free. You just never really know what you are in store for at that place. It makes it interesting for the drivers and the crew, that’s for sure.

“Michigan has some really great fans so it’s always fun to go there. Those people are car people and they’re very passionate and knowledgeable about all types of cars and racing. Being so close to the Detroit area and in the backyard of the big three automakers makes it a special place to race. That area has been hit really hard by the economy so we want to be able to put on a good show for the fans that spend their hard-earned money to come out to the track and watch. I’m sure there will be a ton of Ford VIP’s there as well, so it will be a busy weekend from that end of things and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to spend time with the folks from Ford.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Michigan: “I’m looking forward to this two-mile track. I believe we’ve really made progress as a team and I think the more we can keep on digging, the better we’ll continue to be. Michigan is a fast and wide track. It has multiple grooves and that helps if your car isn’t handling the way you would like. At Michigan, the driver is able to move around a bit until he figures out what works best.

“You can have a lot of green flag runs at Michigan so we’ll want to qualify well and get a decent start. Anything we can do for track position, we’ll do. AJ has qualified pretty solid the last two races so I think we’ll have a good starting position. Of course we’ll have the new FR9 engine again and I think that will be another benefit.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 294 for this weekend’s event at Michigan International Speedway. This is the same Ford Fusion the team ran in Charlotte two weeks ago.

Notes: AJ Allmendinger will make the trip to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio to participate in the 2010 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream on Wednesday evening. This will be Allmendinger’s second trip to the Prelude. He finished 22nd in his 2009 rookie campaign.

All four RPM drivers will be running the new Ford FR9 engine this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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