Thursday, July 22, 2010

Indianapolis Preview

No. 43 Valvoline Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
• Allmendinger finished 10th in his first race at the track, which occurred in 2008
• Allmendinger is currently 22nd in the NSCS driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on Indianapolis Motor Speedway: “I never got to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a Champ car so it has always meant a lot to me to be able to race there in NASCAR. Indy really means a lot to me. A lot of my racing heroes growing up raced there and just knowing that I’ve had enough success in my career to be able to race at a track as historic as Indy is unbelievable. So many people work really hard to get there and it’s really something special to be able to do it.

“Winning at Indianapolis would be unbelievable and getting my first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at that track would be the most amazing thing I can imagine. I think this No. 43 Valvoline team has a legitimate shot at it too. We’re headed in the right direction, for sure, and I have all the faith in the world in Mike Shiplett and my crew that they’ve got a fast racecar ready for this weekend. Hopefully we’ll qualify up front and stay there all day Sunday.”

Mike Shiplett on Indianapolis Motor Speedway: “Indianapolis is about getting off the corners—being able to be wide open off the corners because the track has such long straightaways. Track position is big. Qualifying is really important at Indy especially because you qualify Saturday morning. Qualifying starts at 10:10 a.m. CT so it’s about the only place all year where you want an early draw.

“The track is very weather sensitive so you can practice at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and at 4 o’clock in the afternoon the track is totally different and you’re fighting a totally different problem. It’s all about trying to understand what the weather is going to be like for the race and setting the car up the right way during practice.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 276 for this weekend’s event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This car was run earlier this year at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway where Allmendinger was involved in a Lap 171 accident.

Notes: Allmendinger will spend Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. visiting the Home Theatre Leadership Council on behalf of sponsor Insignia. Allmendinger will meet with VIPs and Orlando area Best Buy pit crew.

Allmendinger is set to make his 100th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend in Indianapolis. Since he began his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in 2007, Allmendinger has earned one pole position (Phoenix, 2010), one top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He has led 43 laps in Cup Series competition.

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