Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sonoma Preview

No. 43 Insignia HDTV/Best Buy Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Infineon Raceway
• Allmendinger drove to a seventh-place finish in this event last season
• The driver is currently 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on Infineon Raceway: “It’s always a good time when we go to Sonoma. The area is beautiful and there’s just a ton of different stuff to do and see. Infineon Raceway draws a local crowd, but it also brings in people from all over the country when NASCAR comes to town. It’s a good example of a place where if you have the right event and a great place in an area that is fun and somewhat touristy, people will spend the money and make it a sort of NASCAR vacation. Everyone should see that area at least once in their lifetime. It’s good to be close to home again for a couple of days too.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on the Weekend: “You have to work off fuel mileage. You’ve got to try to make it a two-stop race and then hope the cautions fall where you need them to fall. Qualifying is very important so you can get track position to start the race. You need to keep all four tires on the racetrack and try not to beat yourself. Those are the keys to racing at Infineon Raceway.

“You work the race backwards and then you’ve got to decide if you’re going to leave some for a green-white-checkered finish or you’re not leave some for a green-white-checkered flag finish. In the past, it’s always been the person who could pit first—meaning being the first car to make their last pit stop— you try to be that first car and then you hope a caution falls soon after you pit and the field gets bunched back up and you’re up in the front.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 257 for this weekend’s event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. The team tested this car at Road Atlanta earlier this month.

Notes: AJ Allmendinger has been challenged by Robin Meade, the host of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" on CNN HLN weekday mornings to a grape stomping competition this Saturday at 12:15 p.m. local time in Winner’s Circle at Infineon Raceway. Allmendinger and Meade will literally step into wine barrels and stomp grapes. The winner will be determined after weighing the amount of grape juice at the bottom of the barrels.

Allmendinger hit the short track this week for some extra-curricular racing to raise money for the Helen Devos Children's Hospital Foundation. Driving in his first-ever IMKA modified race on pavement, AJ drove the No. 97 A Cause For Kids machine at Berlin City Raceway in Marne, Michigan on Wednesday night. Allmendinger won that event.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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