Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Ramble: Dover II Edition

Who Was That Masked Man?
Did anyone else see a masked man in an outlandish green car steal Superman's cape for the first half of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway? Yes, that was AJ Allmendinger aka "The Dinger" in the #43 Insignia Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports. After qualifying second behind "Superman" Jimmie Johnson, many people expected the former open-wheel driver turned superhero to fade into the background as the Chase drivers took over the race. Instead, The Dinger marched right past Superman on lap 14 and not only stole his cape, but further tweaked his nose by putting almost a 6 second lead on the 4-time champion. Eventually a cut tire would foil The Dinger's bid for a win, but the team did rebound nicely for a top-10 finish.

To put AJ's early race domination in perspective, the driver of the #43 car had only led a total of 43 laps since coming to NASCAR in 2007. In the first 172 laps of Sunday's race at the Monster Mile, AJ led a total of 143 laps - over three times his career record. That's a whole lot of 43's floating around, which is perhaps a good omen for the future of the car # that Richard Petty made famous. Given AJ's impressive runs in the last three races, there is a lot of reason for optimism in the Petty camp. If the 43 team can carry this momentum through the end of the year and into the first part of 2011, there is a very good chance that they will end up in Victory Lane in the near future and possibly even land a spot in the Chase for next year's championship.

Now that AJ has signed his extension to stay on at Richard Petty Motorsports and Marcos Ambrose has been pegged to replace Kasey Kahne in the #9 car, the company can focus on its future. There has been a lot of distractions over the first three quarters of the year with Kasey Kahne announcing that he was leaving, and then Budweiser moving over to Richard Childress Racing along with driver Paul Menard and his family owned sponsor Menard's. By mid-summer with Elliott Sadler also looking to be out of favor with the team and AJ on the fence as he explored his options, there were questions about whether RPM would even be around in 2011. Now with two talented drivers signed and the possibility of third if sponsorship is found, RPM is looking like it will not only survive, but may thrive with its concentrated resources.

With impressive performance being shown on the racetrack, the biggest thing that needs to happen right now is for Best Buy, the current primary sponsor of AJ and the #43 team, to stay on board. Stanley has already agreed to be the major sponsor on the #9 of Marcos Ambrose, but Best Buy has yet to make a commitment. The company has a relatively new CEO in Brian J. Dunn, who moved into that position in June of 2009, and they are also in the process of a major expansion project by branching into the United Kingdom, so they have a lot on their plate at the moment. That's no excuse for waiting this far into the season to make a decision, though - the time to act is now!

In my opinion it would be a huge folly on their part not to renew their association with Richard Petty Motorsports. I think that the 43 team is showing the potential for getting Best Buy a huge advertising boost by garnering some major television time. In the Dover event alone AJ managed to get the second most number of camera shots, and if you didn't see that Insignia green #43 car during the broadcast then you simply couldn't have been watching. It won't be long until seeing that car becomes commonplace on race days, along with whoever is on the hood of it.

After spending so much of the season in a state of flux, RPM is solidifying their plans for the future. AJ seems to have gotten his head into the game after announcing his contract renewal, and according to interviews it appears that the team is changing around some personnel within the organization in preparation for next year also. Right now the only detail that is lacking is finalization of sponsorship. So come on, Best Buy. Everyone else has stepped up and now it's your turn. Join the #43 team for a trip to Victory Lane - The Dinger will get you there!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dover II Race Recap

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger started Sunday’s event at Dover International Speedway from the front row
• Allmendinger led 143 laps of the event before a cut tire forced an unscheduled pit stop
• Allmendinger persevered and brought home a 10th-place finish in the event

Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger lined up for the start of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event from the outside of the front row and wrestled the lead from the No. 48 car on Lap 14 of the 400-lap event.

The first pit stop of the day came at Lap 39 and the Insignia HDTV pit crew went to work to ensure that their car was the first off pit road. Crew Chief Mike Shiplett called for four fresh tires and fuel during that stop, but made no adjustments to the car.

Allmendinger stretched his lead to over six seconds during the course of the first 125 laps. Shiplett called for a minor air pressure adjustment to the No. 43 Ford during a Lap 114 pit stop after his driver relayed that the car had become just a bit tight. Allmendinger continued to pace the field until Lap 172, when he was forced to make an unscheduled stop after suspecting that his Insignia HDTV Ford had a tire going down. Allmendinger drove down pit road to the attention of this crew who went to work to change all four tires and make a track bar adjustment. After some investigation, the team confirmed that the right rear tire had been punctured.

Allmendinger lost only one lap and returned to the track in 27th. By Lap 231 the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports machine was back on the lead lap running in the 18th position. Allmendinger continued to charge to the front of the field and less than 100 laps later, the driver held down the 13th position.

Allmendinger broke into the top 10 with just under 70 laps left in the event and despite a bit of a tight handling condition with his No. 43 Ford, was able to remain there when the checkered flag flew. It was the sixth time this season the team has posted a top-10 effort.

Allmendinger on the Dover Event: “Everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports is building great race cars and Doug Yates and all those guys are bringing a lot of horsepower. The car was dialed in and just a stupid five-cent washer got inside the tire. I knew something was wrong. I knew the right-rear was going down and after that you’re just fighting back the rest of the day. We have fast race cars and we’re getting there. They saw us lead. They saw that we had the speed there. They saw the Insignia/Best Buy Ford just out there flying. It was a good day, but it
could have been a great day.”

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dover II Post-Race Quotes

PAUL MENARD - No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
Finished 7th
"Our Menards Ford Fusion was pretty good all weekend. We struggled a bit with a tight condition today, but it wasn't so much that I couldn't work through it. Getting a good finish at Dover is a big deal because it's a tough track and I'm really proud of this team. Slugger really only made minor adjustments all day and we were pretty good at times. All in all, it was a decent weekend for us."


RICHARD "SLUGGER" LABBE, Crew Chief - No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
"That was good. It's probably the best we've been all year from the time we unloaded to the time they threw the checkered. We had good practices, good qualifying runs and a good race run, so that's promising. No one is giving up. We're trying hard and it's good when the whole team gels. The last couple of weeks have been pretty brutal and to come back and run competitive means a lot."


AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion
Finished 10th
YOU HAVE FINISHED BETTER BUT YOU HAVE NEVER RUN AS WELL AS TODAY. WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE TODAY? "A fast race car and starting up front. It was fun to lead. No wonder Jimmie is smiling so much. It's actually a lot of fun to lead. Everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports is building great race cars and Doug Yates and all those guys are bringing a lot of horsepower. The car was dialed in and just a stupid five-cent washer got inside the tire. I'm not sure when. It must have been right when we pitted and left the pits. As the run went on the car started freeing up and then I asked how long it was before I was supposed to pit and he said, 'Twenty laps,' and I'm like, 'I'm not gonna make it.' I knew something was wrong. I knew the right-rear was going down and after that you're just fighting back the rest of the day. We're getting really good at fighting back and making good finishes out of a problem that happens. I would like to have a consistent race one of these days, but we've got fast race cars and we're getting there. They saw us lead. They saw that we had the speed there. They saw the Insignia/Best Buy Ford just out there flying. It was a good day, but it could have been a great day."

WERE YOU TWO LAPS DOWN? "I don't know. I just know that once the tire was flat I had to drive my butt off. That's all I know."

ARE YOU GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE GUYS THAT ISN'T NECESSARILY GOING TO BE HAPPY TO SEE THE SEASON END BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE SAVING YOUR BEST FOR LAST. "I love racing, so I always hate when the season ends. I'm not looking at that. We've got eight more races to go, so we've got a lot of work to do. I still feel like we can get to the top 16 or 17 in points and if we keep running like this, maybe we can sneak a win in there. We still have two months before I've got to worry about the season ending."

DID YOU WANT THAT RACE TO GO LONGER SO YOU COULD MAKE UP SOME MORE SPOTS? "It's tough. I felt like my car was really fast for 25 laps, but once the tires kind of leveled off it was really hard to pass. My car was really good on restarts, so we got a yellow out there and got another set of tires and tried it again. I thought we had a chance, but the thing was that under yellow we'd pull all the rubber up off the track and then we'd go green and my car would be really fast. But once we laid the rubber back down, it felt like we were getting way too tight - almost like the splitter was hitting the rubber and making the car too tight. I felt if we could have cleaned the race track off and then went at it hard for 25 laps we had something."

DO YOU THINK YOU'RE INCHING CLOSER TO FINDING THAT CONSISTENCY? "I think we're getting there. To say, can we go out and win one? We've got to keep getting better. We've got to be consistent inside the top 10. Today was a big day for that. To be able to lead so many laps. I think that was quadruple the laps I've ever led, combined in Cup. We've just got to keep getting there. Of course, winning is the ultimate goal and that's what we want to do, but we have to go baby steps here. We have to be one of those cars that are inside the top 10 every weekend and then we'll get there."

NOTE: Allmendinger led 143 laps today. Prior to the race, he led only 43 laps in his Cup career.

Credit - Ford Racing

Dover II Race Results

AAA 400 Finishing Order
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jeff Burton
3. Joey Logano
4. Kurt Busch
5. Carl Edwards
6. Kyle Busch
7. Paul Menard
8. Ryan Newman
9. Denny Hamlin
10. AJ Allmendinger
11. Jeff Gordon
12. Mark Martin
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Juan Pablo Montoya
15. Kevin Harvick
16. Reed Sorenson
17. Elliott Sadler
18. Matt Kenseth
19. Greg Biffle
20. Marcos Ambrose
21. Tony Stewart
22. Brad Keselowski
23. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
24. David Ragan
25. Clint Bowyer
26. Regan Smith
27. Bobby Labonte
28. Kasey Kahne
29. Casey Mears
30. David Gilliland
31. Tony Raines
32. Scott Speed
33. Travis Kvapil
34. Martin Truex, Jr.
35. David Reutimann
36. Sam Hornish, Jr.
37. Kevin Conway
38. Landon Cassill
39. Michael McDowell
40. Mike Bliss
41. Joe Nemechek
42. JJ Yeley
43. Dave Blaney

Dover II: Allmendinger Qualifying Interview

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion
Qualified 2nd
"For us it was just another solid day. Over the last month I've felt like everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports, but especially the 43, my team has been really strong. We unload strong. We have good Fridays and good Saturdays and the races have been going really well, so today was just another portion of that. We went out there and were really fast in race trim, I felt. We did a couple of runs there and went right into qualifying trim and went really fast. I would have liked to have had the pole. When you've got the 48 behind you it's tough to hold on, but, more importantly, the confidence that my race team and I are building together is the most important thing. I'm excited about tomorrow with getting some practice in. The track is gonna change a lot and that's what we've got to focus on, but I'm really excited about my car on Sunday."

"For me, it's my first full year working with all the 43 guys and this is Richard Petty Motorsports' first year working with Ford. We have the alliance with Roush Fenway and the beginning of the year was tough. We were trying to learn a lot of new things. Everybody was trying to find their place inside the company and where that belonged. I felt like we kind of got on a good path in the middle of the season. We were having a lot of solid top-10, top-15 runs and then the last six weeks or so we kind of got off track and were struggling. We had a good run at Watkins Glen, but that was about it. And then over the last month, just inside the team we made a couple of changes engineering-wise helping all of us out and I feel like that's really got us back on path. Over the last three weeks, and counting today now, we've just been getting better. We've had good races. We need to minimize our mistakes during the races, but, overall, I feel like our cars are really strong. We're really fast and they're really consistent, which is the biggest deal. For the chasers, to me, you never want to be the guy that goes out there and gets into the side of one of them and possibly cost them a championship or anything like that, but, to be honest with you, I could really care less about if they're out there racing for a championship. They've got a lot more to lose than I do. I'm not gonna go and intentionally get in anybody's way, but I'm out there to win. I'm out there to get Insignia/Best Buy a victory and the way I look at it, they've got a lot more to lose than I do, so they've got to be more cautious than me."

"I think ultimately, Mark said it the best, it's a cool place. It's fast, there's a lot of banking in it. To me, the corners narrow up so much on the exit and you're going so fast that you're almost on edge every lap. You don't ever feel like you can relax because when you do relax it'll jump out and bite you, so, as a race car driver and me especially, I think it puts you on your A-game every lap that you run. It's a really fun place. I can't really say much more than Mark said. It's just an awesome place. I've really enjoyed it. Even the first year I came here. I remember I showed up and I was running the truck race and the Cup race. We had a truck practice on Thursday and my crew chief wouldn't let me out for the first 20 minutes. He wanted me to just watch. He said, 'Kind of watch the straightaways, but watch off of turn four.' I'm like, 'What do you mean, and watch off of turn four? I have to. That's what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to learn.' And I think Hornaday came off of four the first lap and the wheels didn't look like they were touching the ground and I was like, 'I retire. Screw that (laughter). I'm not doing that. That's unfair. I'm not doing that.' It's an amazing place when you get on it. You feel like the bottom drops out from under you when you get in the corners and then come back and they try to bite you on the exit. It's just an awesome place to race and just drive in general."

Credit - Ford Racing

Dover II Post-Qualifying Quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion
Qualified 2nd
"It's tough here because the lap times at this place are so close. You just watch everybody go and some guys would speed up, but a lot of guys were slowing down. You just never know, but I'm just proud of everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports and the Roush Yates engine shop. We've got great horsepower and everybody has just been doing a great job over the last month. It's been a pleasure to feel like we're building again and getting better. It's a great effort from everybody and I'm just proud."


PAUL MENARD - No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
Qualified 10th
"That was a nice pickup from practice. I butchered turn one a little bit and I thought I hurt the lap quite a bit. There was more there, for sure, but it was a nice pickup. We made a few changes and kind of guessed at a few things that worked out pretty good. We were decent in race trim earlier. We just did a couple of runs and we've got all day tomorrow to improve, as does everybody else, but I think we have a good car."


KASEY KAHNE - No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion
Qualified 17th
"I think we went a little too far. We just got a little bit loose, but the car actually drove really good and did everything I wanted it to. I just wasn't able to give it enough gas all the time. We have a lot of time to work on the car tomorrow and keep getting it better, but I think it'll be strong on Sunday."

Credit - Ford Racing

Dover II Qualifying Results

AAA 400 Starting Lineup
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. AJ Allmendinger
3. Martin Truex, Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Juan Pablo Montoya
6. Greg Biffle
7. Jamie McMurray
8. Kurt Busch
9. Paul Menard
10. Carl Edwards
11. Kyle Busch
12. Reed Sorenson
13. Ryan Newman
14. Matt Kenseth
15. Jeff Gordon
16. Kasey Kahne
17. David Reutimann
18. Regan Smith
19. Joey Logano
20. Scott Speed
21. Sam Hornish, Jr.
22. Elliott Sadler
23. Marcos Ambrose
24. Clint Bowyer
25. Tony Stewart
26. Casey Mears
27. Jeff Burton
28. Joe Nemechek
29. David Ragan
30. Travis Kvapil
31. Brad Keseloski
32. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
33. Kevin Harvick
34. Bobby Labonte
35. David Gilliland
36. JJ Yeley
37. Dave Blaney
38. Mike Bliss
39. Landon Cassill
40. Kevin Conway
41. Tony Raines
42. Mark Martin
43. Michael McDowell
DNQ Jeff Green
DNQ Josh Wise
DNQ Ted Musgrave

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dover II Preview

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

*AJ Allmendinger has made seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover International Speedway
*Allmendinger scored a 14th-place finish at the track in the race there in May
*After 27 races, Allmendinger holds down 21st place in the driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on the Dover: “Dover is a challenging track, but it’s really fun to race on and I’m excited to be headed there this weekend. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on, including a trip to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and an appearance at the Dover Air Force base. It’s nice to have the opportunity to do those kinds of things when the schedule allows. We also have a special guest [Travis Pierson] coming this weekend. He is a Best Buy employee and is getting ready to be deployed to Afghanistan so we’re going to go all out and show him a good time. Best place for fun at the race track is victory lane, so we’ll try to get our Insignia Ford Fusion there so he can celebrate with us.

“We ran well at Dover in the spring, but we had some issues on pit road and that cost us. We were able to recover from an early problem on pit road and made it back up to 10th, but we got caught speeding on pit road and that pretty much ruined any chance we had for a top-five finish. Still, I was encouraged by the way we ran throughout the race and I’m looking forward to getting back to that track.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Dover: “It seems like about halfway through the race the car starts getting loose into the corner so being able to have an adjustment built into the car to help that loose in is important. When the track starts rubbering up the car gets really loose in. The rubber gets built up on the track and the right front really grips and cuts really good and brings the back of the car around. So you have to be able to keep good grip getting into the corner.

“You’re going to be a little tight in the middle but you can run a lot of different lanes in Dover. You can run all the way at the bottom and all the way up against the wall. There are three lanes that the drivers can run. You don’t forget about the middle, but you know you’re going to be a little bit tight in the middle so you work on your drive off and you can beat people up off the corner. If someone can only run the top side and you can run the bottom, you can pass them coming up off the corner.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 288 for this weekend’s event at Dover International Speedway. This chassis has been utilized on quite a few other occasions this season including the first race at Dover in the spring. In addition, it was run in at Michigan International Speedway several weeks ago, at Chicagoland Speedway, Pocono Raceway and the first event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Notes: AJ Allmendinger will spend several hours this Thursday joining several of his fellow NASCAR competitors in a visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) is the United States Army's flagship medical center. Located on 113 acres in Washington, D.C., it serves more than 150,000 active and retired personnel from all branches of the military. The center is named after Major Walter Reed (1851–1902), an army physician who led the team that confirmed that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes rather than direct contact.

Allmendinger and Richard Petty Motorsports will host a special guest this weekend in Dover. Travis Pierson, an employee of Best Buy, member of the U.S. Army and huge NASCAR fan will be deployed to Afghanistan on January 2, 2011 for a 14-month tour of duty. Pierson, a n Information Systems Administrator with the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion Company C, US Army Reserves, will be named an honorary crew member for the No. 43 team and will have the chance to wave the green flag for Allmendinger’s qualifying run on Friday afternoon. He will also be introduced during driver introductions, ride in the truck with Allmendinger following introductions and attend the driver/crew chief meeting where he will be introduced to all in attendance.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Loudon II Race Recap

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

*AJ Allmendinger started Sunday’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from the sixth position
*Allmendinger brought home a 12th-place finish
*The driver picked up one place in the point standings and now stands in 21st place

Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger fired up his No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion five cars behind the leader for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. After a top-10 finish in Richmond the week prior, the Insignia team hoped to carry the momentum onto this one-mile track. With a few laps on his tires, Allmendinger communicated to Crew Chief Mike Shiplett that his Richard Petty Motorsports machine was too tight. After a right rear wedge adjustment during the first pit stop, Allmendinger and the Insignia HDTV team maintained a top-10 position.

At Lap 98, Allmendinger ran out of gas on pit road while attempting to bring his No. 43 in for four fresh tires and fuel. The extra time it took for Allmendinger to get to his pit caused the team to fall a lap down and forced the team to push for the lucky dog award. Allmendinger raced his competitors hard for the next 50 laps to ensure he would reap the benefits of the next caution flag. That yellow flag finally came at Lap 145 and after the team took advantage of the chance to pit for a slight air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel, Allmendinger lined up for the restart back on the lead lap.

By lap 207, Allmendinger had worked his way to 18th position. Three more pit stops and 93 laps later, the No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion crossed the finish line in 12th position. Allmendinger, who ran as high as third during the 300-lap race, picked up one spot in the point standings and now stands in 21st place, only 40 markers outside the top 20.

Allmendinger on the Loudon Event:
“We just ran out of gas two laps earlier than we expected early in the race and that put us behind. The Insignia HDTV Ford was good all day, it just was so hard because we were back there in traffic and it is so hard to fight back. At the end we were pretty good. We were stuck behind Carl and racing him clean. It felt like if we could have gotten around him then we might have been able to run up to seventh or eighth with what happened out there. The car was fast though and it was a solid weekend all around.”

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Loudon II Race Results

Sylvania 300 Finishing Order
1. Clint Bowyer
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Jamie McMurray
4. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Jeff Gordon
7. David Reutimann
8. Ryan Newman
9. Kyle Busch
10. Sam Hornish, Jr.
11. Carl Edwards
12. AJ Allmendinger
13. Kurt Busch
14. Kasey Kahne
15. Jeff Burton
16. Juan Pablo Montoya
17. Greg Biffle
18. Brad Keselowski
19. Regan Smith
20. Martin Truex, Jr.
21. Elliott Sadler
22. David Ragan
23. Matt Kenseth
24. Tony Stewart
25. Jimmie Johnson
26. Robby Gordon
27. Reed Sorenson
28. Paul Menard
29. Mark Martin
30. Marcos Ambrose
31. Dave Blaney
32. Travis Kvapil
33. David Gilliland
34. Tony Raines
35. Joey Logano
36. Scott Speed
37. Andy Lally
38. Casey Mears
39. Bobby Labonte
40. Joe Nemechek
41. Mike Bliss
42. Landon Cassill
43. Michael McDowell

Friday, September 17, 2010

Loudon II Post-Qualifying Quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
Qualified 6th
"I am mad at myself for that. I don't know if the sun hurt us a little bit or what, but I got in the middle of three and four and got a little bit tight. The times are so close. I probably lost a chance at pole right there. I guess if I am fifth and mad about it then things aren't that bad."

YOU WERE PRETTY QUICK IN RACE TRIM, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SUNDAY? "The car is really good. I really thought we had a chance at pole there. I think the weather hurt us just a touch. If I had just hooked the line a little better in three and four we would have had a good shot at it. The car is really good which is what I am frustrated about. I think we had a chance to be really good there and be on pole. We have had two really good solid weeks in a row on flat tracks and I think we are even better in race trim, so we will go from there."


PAUL MENARD - No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
Qualified 8th
"It was good. We picked up from practice and I think the track is hotter right now. We will see how it holds up. We helped the front end turn a little bit between practice and qualifying. We gave up too much off of turn four. Overall I'm pretty happy with it."


KASEY KAHNE - No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion
Qualified 21st
"It wasn't very good. After I took the checkered it felt really loose in one and two. The front tires wouldn't come in on either lap so I was waiting on that. I tried to scrub them in on the straightaways but I needed one more lap I guess."

DO YOU THINK GOING FIRST WAS A DISADVANTAGE? "Well we struggled with those same things in practice. I feel like we have a good Budweiser Ford for race day."

Credit - Ford Racing

Loudon II Qualifying Quotes

Sylvania 300 Starting Lineup
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Clint Bowyer
3. Tony Stewart
4. Jamie McMurray
5. Juan Pablo Montoya
6. AJ Allmendinger
7. David Reutimann
8. Paul Menard
9. Kyle Busch
10. Carl Edwards
11. David Ragan
12. Kurt Busch
13. Jeff Burton
14. Greg Biffle
15. Sam Hornish, Jr.
16. Martin Truex, Jr.
17. Jeff Gordon
18. Casey Mears
19. Elliott Sadler
20. Regan Smith
21. Kasey Kahne
22. Denny Hamlin
23. Marcos Ambrose
24. Ryan Newman
25. Jimmie Johnson
26. Mark Martin
27. Kevin Harvick
28. Scott Speed
29. Robby Gordon
30. Dave Blaney
31. Joey Logano
32. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
33. Matt Kenseth
34. Landon Cassill
35. Joe Nemechek
36. Mike Bliss
37. Reed Sorenson
38. Michael McDowell
39. David Gilliland
40. Travis Kvapil
41. Tony Raines
42. Andy Lally
43. Bobby Labonte
DNQ Johnny Sauter
DNQ Jeff Green

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Loudon II Race Preview

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

■AJ Allmendinger has made six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
■Allmendinger scored his best finish (10th) at the track in the race there this spring
■After 26 races, Allmendinger holds down 22nd place in the driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on the Remainder of the Season: “The Chase starts this week and that always makes things interesting from a competitor’s standpoint. From here on out, there will be a lot of different agendas going on every week. You’ve got the top 12 guys racing for a championship, which means there will be a certain amount of points racing. Then you’ve got the next seven or eight back racing for the last couple of spots in the top 15. We definitely have a good chance of making our way into the top 20 with this No. 43 Insignia HDTV team and that’s very important to us. But we’re also racing for that first win. We have the chance to go out there every week and maybe take some chances that those top 12 guys won’t be able to take. But then, we’re all racers and we all want to win every week. So, when it comes right down to it, we’ll all be racing for the win.

“There’s nothing more important to this team right now than proving we have what it takes at Richard Petty Motorsports to make it to Victory Lane. We improve every week. When we’re hitting these tracks for the second time around this season, it’s our goal to ensure that we have a better finish than we did the first time we were there and we’ve done a pretty good job of that over the last couple of weeks. That will help us next season too. We’ve got great partners and great people at RPM and they deserve to be able to celebrate in Victory Lane.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on NHMS: “The shock and spring package, brakes, good forward drive off and track position really are the keys to success at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. We’ll concentrate on making the car work well for AJ getting off the corners since that’s the best place to pass and this is a tough track to pass on. You need to have good drive off the corners or you’ll never be able to make the pass there. You fight forward drive there, so it’s something that you really need to concentrate on. In order to have good drive off, you need to be able to get all the way through the corners well.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 267 for this weekend’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Notes: AJ Allmendinger will head to New Hampshire a day early to send time at the Team O’Neil Rally School and Car Control Center in Dalton, N.H. on Thursday taking part in the Ford Racing Fiesta Rally Experience. Allmendinger will also shoot additional webisodes for the 43 Fiestas promotion, in which fans have the opportunity to win a 2011 Ford Fiesta. To watch the first webisodes, shot at Concord Raceway or for more information about this promotion, please visit www.43Fiestas.com. For additional information about the Ford Racing Fiesta Rally Experience, please visit www.teamoneil.com.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Monday, September 13, 2010

Richmond II Race Recap

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

■AJ Allmendinger started Saturday’s event at Richmond International Raceway from the third position
■Allmendinger brought home an eighth-place finish
■The driver holds down the 22nd place in the point standings with 10 races remaining in the season

Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger took off from the third position in Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway. The No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion was fast from the drop of the green flag. In the opening laps of the scheduled 400-lap event, the driver was door-to-door around the .75-mile track battling for the second position.

The California native was one of the fastest cars on track and held track position in the top-five throughout the race’s first 100 laps. The driver relayed to crew chief Mike Shiplett that his Ford Fusion was beginning to tighten up as the night progressed to the halfway point.

The Richard Petty Motorsports crew took advantage of the first two caution periods to make slight air pressure adjustments to help the handling of the Ford machine and keep the driver in the top five. With the event nearing the Lap 300 mark, Allmendinger reported that he needed more grip. The crew was able to deliver fast pit stops all night and made only minimal adjustments to the car throughout the event. Allmendinger kept his Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion in the top 10 for the remainder of evening.

When the checkered flag dropped, the driver was running in the eighth position. The top-10 finish is Allmendinger’s best finish in eight starts at the Richmond-area track and the team’s fifth top-10 run of the season. The No. 43 team was also the top finishing Ford Racing team.

Allmendinger on the Richmond Event: “My guys worked really hard tonight. I definitely feel like I've learned how to drive around this track a little better. This-top 10 finish is my best finish here. This Insignia HDTV team never gives up. There are 10 races left in the season and to me that means 10 more chances to make it to Victory Lane."

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Richmond II Race Results

Air Guard 400 Finishing Order
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Kyle Busch
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Joey Logano
5. Marcos Ambrose
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Juan Pablo Montoya
8. AJ Allmendinger
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Carl Edwards
11. Ryan Newman
12. Jeff Gordon
13. Jeff Burton
14. Matt Kenseth
15. Brad Keselowski
16. Tony Stewart
17. Jamie McMurray
18. Kurt Busch
19. David Reutimann
20. Mark Martin
21. Casey Mears
22. Martin Truex, Jr.
23. David Ragan
24. Scott Speed
25. Ragan Smith
26. Paul Menard
27. Elliott Sadler
28. Sam Hornish, Jr.
29. Kasey Kahne
30. Dave Blaney
31. Mattias Ekstrom
32. Greg Biffle
33. Landon Cassill
34. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
35. Travis Kvapil
36. Jeff Green
37. David Gilliland
38. Tony Raines
39. Bobby Labonte
40. Terry Labonte
41. Kevin Conway
42. Joe Nemechek
43. Jason Leffler

Friday, September 10, 2010

Richmond II Post-Qualifying Quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
Qualified 3rd
"Yeah, this is not one of my best tracks. We have had decent qualifying runs here, but it just seemed like in the race we are a little bit off. I felt excited all day today about being in race trim. The car was pretty good. Juan (Pablo Montoya) got to go out there and put a lap down, but I had to sit and wait and watch everyone put down these fast laps. You start going 'Man, can I run that fast?' Starting up front here is important and to be in the top five is a good thing. Hopefully we just have a solid day tomorrow.

"That is something that we have really worked hard on. That is probably the thing we struggle with the most in these races. The races we practice at during the day and then race at night, our race team on the 43 side feel like we struggle with it. I am actually proud of the guys because we feel like we are making gains on narrowing in the box of making the car better. Today the car was pretty solid. Everything we did to it we were pretty fast. You never really know going into the night race, but I am pretty excited that we are at least close enough in a box that if we make some small changes before tomorrow we will be okay."

"How many guys have you made mad so far Juan?" "I am not even in the Chase. The way I look at it, they have to avoid me right? (laughter) Obviously it is NASCAR. Everybody has incidents. Whether anybody wants to pay up when it is time for the Chase and things like that, I think for us we have nothing to lose when it comes to it."


PAUL MENARD - No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
Qualified 7th
"We ran better than I thought. I was hoping for a faster lap but the way it felt, I didn't think it would run that fast. It was a lot tighter than it had been in practice. We made a little air pressure adjustment and that probably wasn't the way to go. From where we started to where we are going to start for the race, we came a long way. The guys worked hard."

YOU WERE FAST IN THE SECOND PRACTICE RUN, DOES THAT BODE WELL FOR TOMORROW NIGHT? "Yeah, we hit on a few things the second practice in qualifying trim that we think we can carry over to the race trim. We will make a couple of adjustments and go from there."


KASEY KAHNE - No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion
Qualified 10th
"The car felt really good. I thought I was going to be a lot faster than that. Te car was nice and great to drive. The engine felt good. Everything felt good. I thought we would have been a little quicker. We will see where thy ends up."


ELLIOT SADLER - No. 19 Stanley Ford Fusion
Qualified 36th
"That was not what we wanted. I wish we could have run a lot better than that. I probably drove it in too hard and made it a little bit too tight. We just didn't run the lap we needed to run. We will do the best we can tomorrow night and pick up as many positions as we can."

Credit - Ford Racing

Richmond II Qualifying Results

Air Guard 400 Starting Lineup
1. Carl Edwards
2. Juan Pablo Montoya
3. AJ Allmendinger
4. Clint Bowyer
5. David Reutimann
6. Joey Logano
7. Paul Menard
8. Brad Keselowski
9. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
10. Kasey Kahne
11. Jimmie Johnson
12. Matt Kenseth
13. Marcos Ambrose
14. Denny Hamlin
15. Tony Stewart
16. Jeff Green
17. Regan Smith
18. Casey Mears
19. Mark Martin
20. Kevin Harvick
21. Kurt Busch
22. Jeff Gordon
23. Ryan Newman
24. Greg Biffle
25. Jeff Burton
26. David Ragan
27. Dave Blaney
28. Landon Cassill
29. Martin Truex, Jr.
30. Joe Nemechek
31. Scott Speed
32. Kyle Busch
33. Sam Hornish, Jr.
34. Jamie McMurray
35. Jason Leffler
36. Elliott Sadler
37. Mike Bliss
38. Travis Kvapil
39. David Gilliland
40. Tony Raines
41. Kevin Conway
42. Mattias Ekstrom
43. Bobby Labonte
DNQ Terry Labonte
DNQ Michael McDowell
DNQ Todd Bodine
DNQ Scott Riggs
DNQ Brian Keselowski

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One AJ Fan's Journey

Many of you enjoyed my tale about my first ever NASCAR race in Las Vegas in February. This wasn't John Lingle's first race or his first time meeting AJ, but I thought this was a great story about a wonderful event put on for AJ fans. This is the first-hand account of John and his wife Mandy, who drove from Texas to Michigan to attend the event. *Photos and content used with permission.

Michigan NASCAR Race Weekend Aug 14-15, 2010
We started our road trip on Thursday evening the 12th. A marathon session behind the wheel put us in West Memphis, Arkansas where we spent the night. The next morning we woke up early and put another 14 hours in on the road to pull into Ann Arbor, Michigan late Friday night. Along the way we stopped for some Skyline Chili (spaghetti, chili, and grated cheese) and also made a detour to take a look at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tours were only 5 bucks so we signed up and got to take a lap around "The Brickyard" on our tour bus. TV does not even come close to doing justice how BIG that place really is.

Early Saturday morning we made the one hour drive out to the Irish Hills of Michigan, and Brooklyn specifically where Michigan International Speedway is located. I had thought ahead and packed all of our track day needs in a beautiful Coleman backpack that I had bought for 35 bucks specifically for this weekend. We addled up to the main gate to watch Sprint Cup Series practice and I was informed that backpacks were no longer allowed inside the track. This new policy was not posted anywhere and we were told that it had only taken effect that day. I was pretty perturbed that I had to walk a mile and a half back to the car but I shook it off on the way back. Mandy and I watched practice and then I made the rounds of the midway to gather up some MIS and AJ swag. Back to the front gate we went to take advantage of our pit passes and I was told that I could not bring my AJ plastic coffee mug into the track because I might throw it on the track. (No, I am not making this up.) Three miles later and Mandy and I used our pit passes to get a really close look at the Nationwide Series cars during qualifying, and then take in Sprint Cup Series Final Practice. We were able to get close enough where we could have touched Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Ryan Truex, and Juan Pablo Montoya while they walked past us. We realized again how cool AJ really is because most of the other drivers completely ignored all of the fans along the way, even those who were obviously their fans. We also saw NASCAR VP Robin Pemberton on his way to the Nationwide Series drivers meeting. Drivers Brian Scott and Joe Nemechek walked right past our location to get into the meeting.

After Final practice we headed up to the MIS suites where we signed in for the AJ Fan Club event. We ate a surprisingly good lunch in the suite before being taken to the old Timing and Scoring Room which had been converted to a suite area. We were the first group to use this area as it was a test run of sorts for the MIS folks. Not many AJ fan club members made the trip so a lot of suite holders got to take advantage of the deal as well. Mandy and I were pretty bummed about this but most of the people were pretty nice so we got over it. AJ spent the entire Nationwide race in the suite with us all. He answered questions, told stories, and signed a ton of autographs. Lots of people left as AJ fans that didn't know much about him going in. AJ remembered Mandy and even told his PR lady Tara the story again about Mandy's "Future Dinger Fan" shirt when she was pregnant with Broday. He asked how that was going and I showed him my phone with Broday's picture on the screen. (taken before their dust up!) AJ then proceeded to kid me about Broday having a Kasey Kahne shirt on in the picture, but Mandy reminded him that there isn't any AJ baby gear out yet. Mandy and I both asked a lot of questions during AJ Q&A sessions and he really seemed to enjoy visiting with us since it was obvious that we were diehard fans. He actually got excited when I asked a fairly in depth sports car racing question as it seemed he really wanted to talk about that subject anyway and was happy to have an excuse. (FYI- Look for AJ in the #6 car again this year at the Rolex 24. It may or may not be a Dallara still since the Riley they ran last year burned at another race. AJ even said the car might be sponsored this year so that's a great sign for their chances!) Brad Keselowski won the Nationwide race which Mandy and I paid absolutely no attention to as we were visiting with AJ and Tara and Paul from Best Buy who had been awesome enough to give away a lot of AJ gear. At the end of the event we wished AJ luck for Sunday and headed for the gate. Robin Pemberton was leaving a nearby NASCAR suite and I took the opportunity to thank him for the good shows that NASCAR puts on. Once he realized I wasn't trying to get an autograph or gripe about something he was very friendly and thanked me for being a fan. Some Mancino's pizza in Clinton, Michigan on the way back to the hotel capped off an eventful day.

Sunday morning saw us arrive at the track early again and head over to the Ford Racing display on the midway. I wanted to get some pictures of the inside of the Mustang FR500S they had on display in case I decided to strip the interior of my Mustang in the future. We saw Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne doing interviews with Joe Moore of MRN Radio on the sound stage from a few feet away. I played Ford trivia and won a little cup and key chain for knowing that Ford was from Dearborn, Michigan. (with a little help ) While I was snooping around the FR500S a Ford Racing employee came up and started chatting with Mandy and I. At first I thought it was going to be a pain to get him away from us but as it turns out it was Larry Mason, an Indy Lights and Formula Mazda driver. We ending up chatting about racing schools and the like for over 30 minutes before Mandy reminded me it was time to go watch the race. Before that we took advantage of our pit passes again and took a look at the pit boxes and cars lined up on pit road. We saw one of AJ's pit crew members by their pit box and spoke to him for a minute or two. We were shocked that he had absolutely no idea about any of the questions we asked about AJ's car and you could tell that he wasn't lying to us to get rid of us, he just simply didn't know or maybe care. AJ's car drove like it too once the race started. It was a long day as AJ stayed mid pack the rest of the day. Michigan is no Martinsville when it comes to on track action, that's for sure! A very uneventful race ended with one of our least favorite drivers, Kevin Harvick, taking the victory. Mandy and I high tailed it to the car and began the long trip to St. Louis. Thankfully traffic was light and we were able to make it into town about midnight after finding a really nice hole in the wall Italian restaurant in Indiana.

The next morning saw us travel into downtown St. Louis and take in the Gateway Arch. The Arch is gigantic! Pictures do not do that thing justice. To get our customary over the shoulder picture Mandy and I had to walk more than three blocks and tilt the camera way up. We didn't know it but the arch is covered in stainless steel and was constructed by welding triangular pieces together at both ends until they finally met in the middle. The view from up top is amazing and we were able to get some great pictures. After leaving we began the remainder of our 14 hour travel back home. Just outside of St. Louis we stopped at White Castle to see what all the fuss about their burgers were. Don't go to White Castle! Those things are horrible and I don't know what was on my bun but it was not real meat that's for sure. It must be a stoner thing because Mandy and I have no intention of ever eating that garbage again. That was all forgotten though when we went through Texarkana though and got to eat the best chicken in the land, Chicken Express! I may have been as excited for that as almost any other part of the trip! 1 am finally came and saw us pull into the driveway with a rental car full of great memories. Checking the internet that week we also saw that we were famous! Not really, but we did make the article on the AJ website that his PR did about the weekend. We were the quote at the bottom.

Richmond II Preview

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made seven NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Richmond International Raceway
• Allmendinger scored his best finish (17th) on the .75-mile track in May
• After 25 races, Allmendinger holds down 22nd place in the driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on Richmond International Raceway: “I think we can build off of the run we had there in the spring. It wasn’t a spectacular run, but we ran in the top 15 for a good portion of the night and just fought with the handling of the No. 43 Ford for a while. I think we’ve got some short-track races under our belts and we know what we need to do to make things even better. We’ve done our homework so we’ll go from there. Racing at Richmond is fun. I don’t think there’s a driver or a fan out there that doesn’t look forward to this one and I can’t wait to get there.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Richmond: “At Richmond, if you have a good exit you are usually too tight in the middle so you have to find the balance of getting the center to turn and still keeping good drive off. You can get really loose off of turn 4 really fast and still be tight in the middle so finding that balance is really important. Track position is big there too.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 289 for this weekend’s event at Richmond International Raceway. This car was run on three other occasions this season. Allmendinger drove it in the first event at RIR, the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway event where he finished in the 10th position.

Notes: The movie Petty Blue made its media debut on the big screen this Tuesday at the MEZ Epicentre in downtown Charlotte, N.C. The movie, which is an engrossing and moving documentary about the life and times of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and his extraordinary family, will be released on DVD September 21, 2010 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Petty Blue will make its cable debut on CMT in October.

AJ Allmendinger will take part in a question and answer session at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday afternoon prior to the NASCAR Foundation Track Walk, which begins at 1:15 p.m. ET. The Track Walk presented by Reynolds benefits the PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America), which is a Richard Petty Motorsports partner, and several other organizations.

For more information on the PVA, please visit www.pva.org. For additional information regarding the Track Walk, please visit www.foundation.nascar.com.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Atlanta II Post-Race Quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion
Finished 18th
“I am really proud of this No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Racing team. My Richard Petty Motorsports crew really worked hard tonight and gave me solid stops all night long. We fought to find the grip we needed on the track, which was really tough. We finished so strong here in the spring. I was really wanting to do even better this time around.”


KASEY KAHNE - No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion
Finished 32nd
"I felt like we were there. We had a top-five car and when we got out front we were pretty good, but I was still trying to hold off Carl and Jimmie, and Tony was really quick. I was just going down the straightaway and got hit from behind and I know it was the 39, so I feel like he lost us about 20 spots today. He said he got hit from behind and that forced him into me, so that's racing, but either way, we're the one that took the big shot there."

YOU AND RYAN HAD AN AMIABLE DISCUSSION AFTER THE RACE. HOW DID THAT GO? "Ryan and I are fine. We don't have an issue with each other, it's just that when you get racing sometimes it gets you mad. He lost about four spots from me rubbing him a little bit and I lost about 25 or 30 from him rubbing me, so he got me a little better."


PAUL MENARD - No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
Finished 35th
"It's real positive because our race car was really good. It was awesome. The guys worked really hard and we had a good car all weekend. We could have definitely had another top five tonight, but it wasn't meant to be."


ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 19 Stanley Ford Fusion
Finished 41st
"I saw the 16 spinning and kind of blocking the track and me and Harvick tried to go under him. I couldn't go any lower because of the 29 car and I think the 16 was standing in the gas trying to stay out of the wall and just came down and clipped us in the right rear and turned us head-on into the wall. Our Stanley Ford is damaged and done for the night. It's very frustrating. We had a really good car and guys kind of started short-pitting and that put us behind and we were trying to play catch-up, but I really wanted to finish this race. We felt like we had a good shot at a good finish tonight."

WAS THE HIT AS BAD AS POCONO? "Oh, no. Nothing like Pocono. I hit where a SAFER barrier is in turn four. We didn't pull any g's at all, so I'm thankful they had that here in turn four at Atlanta. I do want to say thanks to all the fans for showing up tonight. We've got a heck of a crowd here in Atlanta. Man, I just really wanted to finish this race and run good. It's the same car I had at Michigan and we were making a comeback, but it just wasn't meant to be."

Credit - Ford Racing & Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Atlanta II Race Results

Emory Healthcare 250 Finishing Order
1. Tony Stewart
2. Carl Edwards
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Jeff Burton
5. Kyle Busch
6. Kurt Busch
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Ryan Newman
9. Juan Pablo Montoya
10. Marcos Ambrose
11. Matt Kenseth
12. Martin Truex, Jr.
13. Jeff Gordon
14. Reed Sorenson
15. Jamie McMurray
16. David Reutimann
17. Regan Smith
18. AJ Allmendinger
19. David Ragan
20. David Gilliland
21. Mark Martin
22. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
23. Bill Elliott
24. Dave Blaney
25. Brad Keselowski
26. Casey Mears
27. Joey Logano
28. Patrick Carpentier
29. Travis Kvapil
30. Sam Hornish, Jr.
31. Bobby Labonte
32. Kasey Kahne
33. Kevin Harvick
34. Scott Speed
35. Paul Menard
36. Greg Biffle
37. Kevin Conway
38. Joe Nemechek
39. Michael McDowell
40. JJ Yeley
41. Elliott Sadler
42. Mike Bliss
43. Denny Hamlin

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Atlanta II Post-Qualifying Quotes

KASEY KAHNE - No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion
Qualified 10th

"That felt pretty decent, but I just didn't quite turn soon enough to get pointed. The car actually felt pretty good, so I'm happy with it. I'm looking forward to the race and I think we should have a good chance of running up front and racing with these guys. It should be a good race and I'm looking forward to it."


AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion
Qualified 16th

"I'm not very good here when it comes to qualifying. I find it funny that it's my best actual race track, but it's my worst qualifying track, so I don't know. Hopefully, that will put us 16th to 17th, which would be something like 10 spots higher than I've ever qualified here, so that would be a good thing. The car was really good in race trim, but if I go over the lap - and I always critique myself - but I hit everything I wanted to. I'll just have to go back and see if I needed to push a little harder or not, but, overall, it was solid with no mistakes. We'll hopefully have a good car tomorrow."


PAUL MENARD - No. 98 Quaker State/Menards Ford Fusion
Qualified 19th

"We've got two pretty decent cars this weekend, but I just didn't hit turns three and four as well as I would have liked on that qualifying lap. I think we'll be pretty good in the race tomorrow, but for that one lap I just missed it a little bit."

Credit - Ford Racing

Atlanta II Qualifying Results

Emory Healthcare 500 Starting Lineup
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Ryan Newman
3. Kyle Busch
4. Carl Edwards
5. Tony Stewart
6. Martin Truex, Jr.
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Juan Pablo Montoya
9. David Ragan
10. Kasey Kahne
11. Kurt Busch
12. Jamie McMurray
13. David Reutimann
14. Clint Bowyer
15. Greg Biffle
16. AJ Allmendinger
17. Mark Martin
18. Jeff Gordon
19. Paul Menard
20. Scot Speed
21. Sam Hornish, Jr.
22. Elliott Sadler
23. Michael McDowell
24. Bobby Labonte
25. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
26. Jeff Burton
27. Regan Smith
28. Brad Keselowski
29. Kevin Harvick
30. Matt Kenseth
31. Joey Logano
32. Marcos Ambrose
33. Reed Sorenson
34. Joe Nemechek
35. Patrick Carpentier
36. David Gilliland
37. Dave Blaney
38. JJ Yeley
39. Mike Bliss
40. Bill Elliott
41. Travis Kvapil
42. Kevin Conway
43. Casey Mears
DNQ Jason Leffler
DNQ Landon Cassill
DNQ Scott Riggs
DNQ Todd Bodine

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Atlanta II Preview

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion
*AJ Allmendinger has made five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway
*Allmendinger scored his best finish (6th) on the 1.54-mile track in March
*Allmendinger has completed 1,648 of 1,650 possible laps (99.9%) at AMS

AJ Allmendinger on the Weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway: “I had a great weekend off and had the chance to have some fun, get refreshed a bit and get ready for this last 12-week stretch of racing. I think sometimes that this last part is the toughest part of the year for a lot of people. Everyone has a different agenda. In these last two races before New Hampshire, some guys are going to do everything they can to try to make the Chase. Then after that there are 12 guys who are fighting for the championship. Meanwhile, there are 30 other teams who are fighting their own battles, many of which are just as important to them as the Championship is for the top 12. Guys are fighting for jobs; teams are fighting to post some good results at the end of the season for their sponsors, and there will be some that are trying to get a jump start on 2011.

“We’re in a couple of those categories. Getting a win for Best Buy, Insignia, Ford and our other partners is the absolute number one thing on our minds. They’re great partners and they deserve to have the chance to celebrate in Victory Lane. At the same time, I’m happy that I know where I’m going to be in 2011 and that part of the equation has been taken care of. It will give us the chance to concentrate on what’s important, and that’s the current and future success of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team.

“As far as Atlanta goes, it’s a great track and it’s really fun to race on. We had a pretty good weekend in March and we’re hoping to be able to build off of that this time around. The schedule is a bit different than a regular weekend, so that will be a bit of a change for everyone, but it should be really great racing for the fans. Night racing on a holiday weekend can’t be beat.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Atlanta: “One of the keys to success at Atlanta is to be able to get good drive off of the corner for the entire fuel run. The cars usually get really loose up off the corner. You also need to be able to set your car up to run the bottom or the top so you can run where other cars aren't in order to make passes. Pit road is important and you need to have really good pit stops. Once you get up front you need to do everything in your power to stay there since track position is really important.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 276 for this weekend’s event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This car was run on two other occasions this season. Allmendinger drove it in the Indianapolis and Martinsville, Va. events.

Notes: Allmendinger will spend Friday evening at the Best Buy store on Pavilion Parkway in Fayetteville, Ga. Allmendinger will meet with fans and sign autographs from 7-9 p.m. ET.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR