No. 43 PVA Mission: ABLE Ford Fusion
• AJ Allmendinger started the Saturday night event at Daytona in the 21st position
• Allmendinger finished the event in the 36th position
• The California native holds down the 22nd position n the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
Race Summary: Following a slight delay caused by rain showers in the area, AJ Allmendinger took off from the 21st position for the start of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. As the opening laps unfolded, Allmendinger reported his Ford Fusion was running good but he was feeling a slight right-side vibration. At the Lap 15 competition caution, the driver brought his No. 43 PVA Mission: ABLE Ford down pit road for four new tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments.
By Lap 35, Allmendinger was making headway through the field and racing towards the top 15. Just as teammate Elliott Sadler was taking the lead at Lap 40, the No. 43 Ford shot up to the eighth position. The driver began feeling a right-side vibration again, but continued to run amongst the leaders. At the Lap 58 caution period, the team made a quick stop for four fresh tires and fuel. Fresh tires solved the vibration issue and Allmendinger was able to continue his charge to the front, restarting in the 10th position on Lap 63.
At Lap 66, Allmendinger’s Ford became loose in Turn 4, resulting in contact with the No. 18 car. The No. 43 spun towards the entrance of pit road and made contact with the inside wall. The RPM Ford suffered heavy damage to the left rear and the PVA crew worked to make the needed repairs to keep their driver from making a trip the garage.
Allmendinger was able to keep his Ford machine on track, but at Lap 90 the team made the decision to head to the garage for further repairs. The RPM crew quickly made more extensive repairs to the No. 43 Ford and by Lap 117, Allmendinger was back on track.
The driver avoided being involved in the late-race accident that took out over a dozen cars. It took a green-white-checkered sequence to end the 400-mile event and as the dust settled, Allmendinger and the No. 43 PVA Mission: ABLE team were left with a 36th-place result.
Allmendinger on the Daytona event: “Tonight was such a tough night. I want to thank my guys for sticking with it and never giving up. I want to run strong every week and just hate it for everyone involved that we didn’t have better results here tonight. The past six races we’ve been able to post top-15 finishes and I really wanted to give the PVA and everyone that supports our team and RPM another top finish tonight. We’ll put this behind us and get right back at it next week in Chicago.”
Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR