Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chicago Preview

No. 43 Geek Squad Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Chicagoland Speedway
• Allmendinger has posted a 13th-place effort in both events in which he has competed at this track
• Allmendinger is currently 22nd in the NSCS driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on Chicagoland Speedway: “I can’t wait to get to Chicagoland Speedway. We get closer and closer to a win every week with our No. 43 Ford Fusion and I feel like our mile and a half program is really solid. Last weekend was pretty disappointing because we had a pretty good string of consecutive top-15 finishes going and it hurt us in the points, for sure. But we’re not out. If we can get back to finishing inside the top 12 or so on a consistent basis I think we have the potential to get ourselves right back there in the hunt for a really respectable finish in the points.

“We had a goal prior to the start of the season to finish inside the top 15 in points, so while we would really like to be a part of the Chase, if we can get ourselves inside the top 15 by the end of the season, then I feel like it will have been a successful one for us. This is our first year under the Richard Petty Motorsports banner and a top-15 points finish this season would be a pretty good accomplishment for us. I think the most important thing for us right now is to get that first win. We’re so darn close every week and it’s frustrating but exciting all at the same time. We’ll get it; it’s just a matter of time.

“This week in Chicago we’ve got Geek Squad on the car. It’s the first time it’s been on the car this year and it looks really good. Best Buy does a great job of incorporating different areas of the company into the race program and that changes things up and makes it more exciting for us and the fans, I think.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 288 for this weekend’s event at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. This car was run earlier this year at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Pocono (Penn.) Raceway.

Notes: Allmendinger will be one of four NASCAR drivers taking part in a Minnesota Motorsports Gives Back event this Thursday at Elko Speedway in Elko, Min. NASCAR drivers A.J. Allmendinger, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Jason Leffler will compete in a 20-lap match race on the high banked 3/8-mile oval, which will be turned into a dirt track for the month of July.

Minnesota Motorsports Gives Back is a partnership with most all of the Minnesota-based companies involved in NASCAR, including Best Buy, 3M, General Mills and Great Clips. All revenue from this event benefits a group of charities including Minnesota Returning Veterans Fund, Victory Junction Gang for Terminally Ill Children, Greg Biffle Foundation for Animals and the Clint Bowyer Foundation.

Allmendinger is set to make his 99th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend in Chicago. He is on track to reach the 100-race mark at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.

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