Saturday, October 30, 2010

Talladega II Qualifying Quotes

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 19 Hunt Brother's Ford Fusion
Qualified 33rd
"That was a normal Talladega lap, you just hold it straight and hold the gas down, and where you qualify is where you qualify. We'll go get 'em tomorrow. We're definitely gonna race, at least at the beginning and see what happens, see what kind of position we're in or how wild it is, but it's gonna be a pretty wild race tomorrow with the two-car tandems we've figured out and all the bump drafting. It should be a really good race for everyone tomorrow to watch."


AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion
Qualified 36th

"It's funny. It really doesn't matter that much where you end up in the qualifying order. It's one of those things where you're just out there kind of riding along trying to not move your hands very much, just out for a Sunday drive. It wasn't a big deal. We'll start where we start and go from there."

HOW WAS THE LAP OVERALL? "I fell asleep at one point down the back straightaway. I took a nap, but woke up for three, luckily, just in time to make the corner. Other than that, there's some nice scenery down the back straight. There seems like a nice party still going on from last night, so that was pretty good. I was pretty excited about that. I think I know where to hang out tonight, but, other than that, that was about it (laughing)."

HOW CHALLENGING IS IT RIGHT NOW? "Ultimately, you can only control what you can control. I can control racing the car right now. I wish I had answers. I wish I could tell my team guys it's gonna be okay. I wish I could have answers that everybody wants, but I don't. Robbie Loomis is the guy to talk to about those answers. For me, all we can do is just like last week, we go to the race track and come with the guys, have fun, put our heads down and try to win a race. It's not easy. I'm not sitting at home just thinking everything is peachy. I'm a guy that stresses a lot about everything, so, in the end, we're here racing the car. Hopefully, next weekend we're at Texas racing the car, but we're here, we're having fun and it's the same goal - go out there and win."


ARIC ALMIROLA - No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion
Qualified 37th
"That was good. It was good yesterday in race practice, so that's what I'm more worried about. I'm just gonna go race. I know there's a lot of people on a lot of different agendas, but the beauty of the situation that I feel like I'm put in is I have absolutely no pressure. I've got a great opportunity next year to go drive Dale Jr's. Nationwide car, so I'm not auditioning for a job or anything like that, so I can just go race. It's kind of fun for me, actually."


PAUL MENARD - No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
Qualified 38th
"Qualifying here is never eventful, but the race makes up for it. We lost a little bit of time from yesterday. It's a lot less windy today, but we knew we weren't gonna start on the pole. Hopefully, we can stay out of trouble because we've got a really fast race car. We'll try to stay out of trouble for the first 450 miles and race them the last 50."

WHAT IS YOUR PLAN FOR TOMORROW? "We'll see where we end up in qualifying, but we tried a lot of things yesterday. Our Fusion sucks up really well. It can push the car in front and there's no problem with handling. I can put it where I want to, it's just a matter of being in the right line at the right time."

Credit - Ford Racing

Talladega II Qualifying Results

Amp Energy Juice 500 Starting Lineup
1. Juan Pablo Montoya
2. Clint Bowyer
3. Kurt Busch
4. Joe Nemechek
5. Jeff Burton
6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
7. Dave Blaney
8. Ryan Newman
9. Casey Mears
10. Sam Hornish, Jr.
11. Brad Keselowski
12. Jamie McMurray
13. Jeff Fuller
14. Kevin Harvick
15. Michael McDowell
16. Kasey Kahne
17. Denny Hamlin
18. Martin Truex, Jr.
19. Jimmie Johnson
20. Michael Waltrip
21. David Reutimann
22. Chad McCumbee
23. Carl Edwards
24. Bobby Labonte
25. Joey Logano
26. Tony Stewart
27. Matt Kenseth
28. David Ragan
29. Scott Speed
30. Mark Martin
31. Jeff Gordon
32. Kyle Busch
33. Elliott Sadler
34. Greg Biffle
35. Marcos Ambrose
36. AJ Allmendinger
37. Aric Almirola
38. Paul Menard
39. Regan Smith
40. David Gilliland
41. Robert Richardson, Jr.
42. Robby Gordon
43. Bill Elliott
DNQ Landon Cassill
DNQ Travis Kvapil
DNQ Johnny Sauter

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Talladega II Race Preview

No. 43 Valvoline Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway
• Allmendinger posted his best finish at the track (19th) in the spring event this season
• After 32 races, Allmendinger holds down 20th place in the NSCS driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on Talladega Superspeedway: “I never know exactly how to feel about going to the superspeedway events. These races are such big question marks. We have four pretty strong teams and really talented superspeedway drivers and the more help you can have on these tracks, the better. Our Valvoline Ford should be pretty strong and I think I get to be a better driver at these restrictor plate races every time we go, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this weekend.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Talladega: “Talladega is like a big lottery. If you get in the right line at the right time you can go from the 20th position all the way to first or from first to all the way back to 20th in one lap. Its just being in the right place at the right time, finding people that will help you and missing the wrecks.

“At Talladega handling is kind of a non-issue. Its mostly about horsepower and how fast you can go because the track has so much banking and its so smooth since they’ve repaved it. You’re just wide open all the way around the 2.66-mile track. You never have to lift out of the throttle. The name of the game is staying out of trouble for 160 laps and then really going racing for the last 28.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 682 for this weekend’s event at Talladega Superspeedway. This is the team’s favorite superspeedway car and is the same one the No. 43 crew has prepared for all three of the previous superspeedway races this season.

Notes: Valvoline will make a return appearance on the hood of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion this weekend in Talladega. This week, the names of the Spotlight Lexington volunteers from the World Equestrian Games, which took place at the beginning of this month, are on the hood of the No. 43 Ford. On the final day of the festival, Oct. 10, one lucky volunteer won the car hood and two tickets to the race, Valvoline was a large supporter of the World Equestrian Games, which took place in Lexington, Ky., this year.

Valvoline, a division of Ashland Inc., serves more than 100 countries worldwide and is a leading marketer, distributor and producer of quality branded automotive and industrial products and services. For more information about Valvoline products, please visit

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Monday, October 25, 2010

Martinsville II Race Recap

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger began the race at Martinsville Speedway from the 15th position
• Allmendinger finished the event in 12th place
• The No. 43 team scored its 16th top-15 finish this weekend in Martinsville

Race Summary: On what was a beautiful fall Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, AJ Allmendinger launched from the 15th position to start race No. 31 of the 2010 season. In the opening laps around the .526-mile track, Allmendinger took time to assess how his No.

43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion was handling and relayed to Crew Chief Mike Shiplett that the machine was tight. Shiplett was given a chance to call for changes with the 500-lap event’s first caution of the day at Lap 47. Allmendinger brought the No. 43 down pit road to the attention of his Richard Petty Motorsports crew for both wedge and trackbar adjustments. The team also bolted on four fresh tires and topped the racecar off with fuel before sending its driver off pit road.

Allmendinger fought hard to overcome slight handling issues and was able to maintain track position among the top-20 in the field for the majority of the event. In typical short-track fashion, the race witnessed 15 caution periods. While Shiplett made the decision to not pit at each caution, he was able to utilize several of the them to bring his driver down pit road for further adjustments.

Over the course of the remaining 150 laps, it was as if Allmendinger and the No. 43 team found the right mix and came to life. Allmendinger cracked the top 10 at Lap 364. The driver held position among the top-10. When the checkered flag waved, the No. 43 shot across the finish line in the 12th position.

Allmendinger remains in the 20th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with four races remaining.

Allmendinger on the Martinsville Event: “I’m happy, but I’m mad at myself because I messed up on that pit stop. We finally got some track position, and were finally getting to the front when we were up to seventh or eighth, but I messed up on our two-tire stop. I just tried to leave too quickly and stalled it and that put us in the back, so we had to fight from there, so I wouldn’t say I’m happy, but I’m pleased with the finish. Anytime you get a top 12 at Martinsville, and I think it’s the first time I’ve ever run all 500 laps here, too; so, all in all, it was a good day. I’m happy for the guys and mad at myself a little bit, but it was a decent day. After everything this week, I’m just proud of my guys, my pit crew, my road crew and everybody back at the shop for building a good race car and rallying, putting their heads down and just forgetting about everything going on around us.”

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Martinsville II Post-Race Quote

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion
Finished 12th
"I'm happy, but I'm mad at myself because I messed up on that pit stop. We finally got some track position, and were finally getting to the front when we were up to seventh or eighth, but I messed up on our two-tire stop. I just tried to leave too quick and stalled it and that put us in the back, so we had to fight from there, so I wouldn't say I'm happy, but I'm pleased with the finish. Anytime you get a top 12 at Martinsville, I think it's the first time I've ever run all 500 laps here, too, so, all in all, it was a good day. I think we gained some points on a couple guys around us, but, more importantly, we got back to running well after the last couple of weeks. I'm happy for the guys and mad at myself a little bit, but it was a decent day."

WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT YOUR TEAM THAT WITH ALL THE DISTRACTIONS THIS WEEK THEY HAD A SOLID PERFORMANCE TODAY? "We can't change anything that's going on behind the scenes and what's gonna happen. We can't change that. We can come here and, for me, no matter what happens I feel like I'll figure something out. I'm more worried for my guys because they bust their butts to go out here and work this hard. They don't get paid a lot of money and they spend their whole life doing this, so I just want to try to take care of them. After everything this week, I'm just proud of my guys, my pit crew, my road crew and everybody back at the shop for building a good race car and rallying - putting their heads down and just forgetting about everything going on around us."

Credit - Ford Racing

Martinsville II Race Results

Tums Fast Relief 500 Finishing Order
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Mark Martin
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Kyle Busch
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Joey Logano
7. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
8. Carl Edwards
9. Jeff Burton
10. Brad Keselowski
11. Jamie McMurray
12. AJ Allmendinger
13. Paul Menard
14. Kasey Kahne
15. Matt Kenseth
16. Kurt Busch
17. David Ragan
18. Ken Schrader
19. Juan Pablo Montoya
20. Jeff Gordon
21. Aric Almirola
22. Robby Gordon
23. Scott Speed
24. Tony Stewart
25. Sam Hornish, Jr.
26. Hermie Sadler
27. David Reutimann
28. Elliott Sadler
29. Martin Truex, Jr.
30. Ryan Newman
31. Regan Smith
32. Tony Raines
33. Greg Biffle
34. Marcos Ambrose
35. Travis Kvapil
36. Dave Blaney
37. David Gilliland
38. Clint Bowyer
39. JJ Yeley
40. Casey Mears
41. Joe Nemechek
42. Landon Cassill
43. Bobby Labonte

Friday, October 22, 2010

Martinsville II Qualifying Results

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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Martinsville II Preview

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway
• Allmendinger’s best finish at the .526-mile track is a ninth-place effort (2009)
• After 31 races, Allmendinger holds down 20th place in the NSCS driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on Martinsville (Va.) Speedway: “We were disappointed in the way things went on raceday last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The guys did a good job with the car and was decent all night, but I felt like we struggled with some things that were out of our control. The good news is that all of our hard work has finally helped us make it into the top 20 in points. It has taken us a while to get there, but it’s been a goal of ours and our perseverance has paid off. Now we just need to make sure we stay there. Martinsville and Talladega can be a bit of a crapshoot, and we got into some trouble the last time we were in Martinsville, so the most important thing will be finishing the race problem free.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Martinsville: “Martinsville is one of those places we visit where one of the hardest challenges is pit road. It’s pretty narrow getting on and off so we’ll have to be careful and make sure we don’t make any mistakes there. It’s important to qualify up front, obviously, because it’s so hard to pass there and it’s so easy to get lapped on a longer green flag run. We’ve had some good qualifying runs on the shorter tracks we’ve run on recently, so I’m pretty confident we have what it takes to start up front in Martinsville.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 289 for this weekend’s event at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. This chassis has been utilized on several occasions this season including in the most recent event at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway where Allmendinger drove to a eighth-place finish.

Notes: Car chief Brian Dantinne will serve as one of the 43 Grand Marshals for this weekend’s event at Martinsville Speedway. Born in Wallace, Mich., in 1967, Dantinne began his career by turning wrenches on race cars at the local short tracks at the age of 12. He spent time in the American Speed Association ranks before moving to NASCAR. For the past three seasons, he has worked as car chief for the No. 43 Fords made famous by team owner Richard Petty.

“My job both on race day and back at the shop is to oversee the guys working on the car and making sure everything is performing the way it’s supposed to,” Dantinne says. “My favorite part of the job is meeting new people and traveling. It’s a people sport. We get to see new parts of the country and enjoy new venues. I never dreamed I could make a career of racing but I’ve been involved now for 30 years. It’s been a fun ride.”

Martinsville Speedway is the site of the most recent time the No. 43 car went to Victory Lane. Piloted by John Andretti, the No. 43 machine was the first to the checkered flag in the spring event in 1999. AJ Allmendinger has had some success on the .526-mile track. Allmendinger posted a ninth-place effort in the spring event on the concrete, paper-clip shaped oval driving for Richard Petty Motorsports back in 2009.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Charlotte II Race Recap

AJ Allmendinger finished Saturday night's Bank of America 500 in 25th with the No. 43 WIx Filters Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports after fighting to the finish with a stricken motor. The result is the worst finish for AJ and the No. 43 since taking 31st at Bristol in August, yet still moved him up one spot in the points to 20th with just five races left to go in the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Despite the disappointment of starting so well with a third place spot on the grid, the run to 25th was another strong showing as AJ made the most of his Fusion's handling to stay on the lead lap and in the top 20 for most of the long race despite not having full power from the drop of the green.

Entering the weekend, Allmendinger and crew chief Mike Shiplett had been hitting a strong stride, taking top twenty finishes in every race since Labor Day including three top tens as well as some stout qualifying runs to boot. The issue marked the second weekend where AJ didn't seem to have the full complement of ponies on offer from the motor, but he kept his head down and made the most of what he had to bring home some points. "I'm not sure what was going on," said AJ.

"We seemed right away to have a similar issue as last week with the horsepower. It's like I had no pick up out of the corner and no speed down the straights.It got progressively worse and we just tried to nurse it to get what we could. I apologized to Mike and my guys because I got pretty frustrated on the radio. We're just so much a top 10 team now and the last two weeks have been frustrating because of that. I know they're taking apart the engine right now to figure it out, so we'll see what happened."

Credit -

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Charlotte II Race Results

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

Friday, October 15, 2010

Charlotte II Post-Qualifying Quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 WIX Filters Ford Fusion
Qualified 3rd
"The 43 team has been fast unloading the last few weeks and in qualifying the last couple of weeks we just kind of lost it a little bit. I'm not very good around here, so when I threw that lap down, it felt good but there was so much grip on the race track you didn't really know how good the car was, but Mike Shiplett and all the guys on the 43 team pumped me up. Mike is fun to work with. He's always pumping me up, even when I'm a little nervous about qualifying or struggling after practice. He's just a great guy to work for and have as a crew chief, so I'm happy we've got Wix Filters. We've got a sweet little paint job on the car this weekend, it's their first time as a primary, so we've got them up front and hope we have a great Saturday night."


PAUL MENARD - No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
Qualified 5th
"It was a good lap. I was hoping for more and an early draw might hurt us here. I'm not sure how much more it's gonna cool off, but it'll probably get some more grip. It was a good lap, though."

HAVE YOU EVER GONE THIS FAST BEFORE AT CHARLOTTE? "It's pretty close if it's not. I remember some guys running in the 27's here a year or two ago. I'm not sure if I was one of those guys, but it was pretty fast."

HOW WAS THE LAP? "Charlotte is one of the most temperature sensitive tracks we go to and obviously we practiced and it was sunny out and a little bit slicker. The sun went down and it's dark, so the track has a lot more grip. I was hoping I'd go a little bit faster. The car felt really good and it felt like I could maybe have gotten a little bit more, but we'll just have to see how it holds up. I didn't hold back anything, but I messed up because I didn't run a perfect lap. I ran a 95 percent lap. I could have gotten just a little bit more here and there if I would have hit my marks just right, but there is more speed out there and somebody is probably gonna get it."


ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 19 Stanley Ford Fusion
Qualified 9th
"I'm glad to be back at Charlotte. We've got a brand new race car these guys have brought for me this weekend. I'm very happy with it in race trim. I don't know where that's gonna stack up because there is plenty of grip tonight in the race track. I don't know about my track record. I don't know if it's gonna last through the night or not, but I'm proud of my guys. It was a great night and I'm very happy with it. We'll go and get the most of it on Saturday night."

HOW IS IT TO PRACTICE IN THE DAY AND RACE AT NIGHT? "That's when you have to have a good crew chief, and I think I've got the best one in the garage in Todd Parrott. We've had a lot of success together. We qualified second last week and that's the best we've qualified in a long time. We feel like we have a really good car for this weekend. It's his job to make all the adjustments and my job to try to hold it to the mat, so he did his job very, very well for tonight. I was very, very pleased with the car. We'll see how it ends up."

Credit - Ford Racing

Allmendinger - Third Place Post-Qualifying Interview

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 WIX Filters Ford Fusion
Qualified 3rd

"It was a bit of a surprise. The car was good in practice. In race trim I was really excited about it. With about the 15 laps we ran the car was handling really well, and then in qualifying trim the thing seemed pretty good, but the car was better than the driver honestly in qualifying. I usually struggle here, so for the actual qualifying lap Mike Shiplett, he does a good job pumping me up. I saw my teammates were fast and they were saying the track had a lot of grip, so I just went out there and tried to lay down a lap the best I could and the car was solid. It got a little bit tight in three and four. I don't know if that hurt us and our chance to maybe get the pole, but, all in all, from where we were in practice and how the car was handling in race trim I'm real excited. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and to go out there and work on the car, and for Saturday night to get the new sponsor, Wix Filters, get that up there. The car looks really cool, so hopefully for their first primary on the 43 we can go out there and put on a show for them."

ARE YOU FEELING LIKE SOMETHING HAS CLICKED FOR YOU? "Honestly, it's just experience with the race team. This is my first full year working with Mike Shiplett and all the guys on the 43. For us to come together and really assemble the team, at the end of last year we kind of had a few of our guys working together, but, really, it's our first full year and obviously working with Ford for the first full year. The alliance with have with Roush Fenway, I think it took awhile in the beginning of the season to get our cars and what we wanted and I think just over the last six to seven weeks Mike and I have been really working well together. We kind of made some changes inside the race team engineering-wise, just putting a couple people here and there and I think that's helped a lot, so just all together we're clicking. The race cars are getting better, the guys at the race shop are building great cars, making the cars lighter. This is probably the lightest car we've run all year - the newest, updated body - so the cars are just getting better and when that happens I get more confidence, Mike gets more confident, and I feel like we're clicking. To me, what's exciting is we've had some good races but even the races that we've struggled in - Kansas, even Fontana last week - when we're running 30th in the beginning of the race, those are the races typically at the beginning of the season where we would finish 25th. We'd kind of stay there. We wouldn't make the car any better. We'd struggle all day and we finished 10th at Kansas and if it wasn't for that late-race yellow last week at Fontana I think we had a chance at 10th, so those are the races I'm really proud of - the ones we struggle in and can still make something good out of it. That's what makes these teams that are so good - the 48, the 29 - makes them what they are is not the good days, but when they're struggling, to make something good out of it."

WHAT ACTIVATED THIS SUCCESS FOR RPM? "It's everything I really talked about. The alliance with Roush Fenway and Ford keeps updating stuff and making motors faster. We're working well together and I think all the cars are starting to run well and that's good, especially in qualifying trim I think the last few weeks there has been an RPM car on the pole or the front row, so the whole race team is working well together, working hard and just trying to go out there and make everything better. It's not one thing, it's a lot of small things and everybody is working well together. When the teams run strong, I think that just gives everybody confidence and it shows throughout the organization."

DID THE TRACK CHANGE MUCH FROM PRACTICE? "For me, like I said, the car was good in race trim. I know what I want it to feel like in race trim here, it's just that I've always struggled in qualifying. It was the same thing, the car wasn't really that bad in practice, I could just never really get a good lap and a feel for how to get around this place, especially today with being so cool. There was so much grip on the race track that you just really had to get after it and to be able to go back in the truck and look to see what other cars were doing on the race track, being compared to like the 39 and the 20 car - seeing what they were doing on both ends of the race track helped me out a lot, and listening to Paul and Elliott on the radio talk about how much grip the race track had. I went out there just knowing that there was gonna be a ton of grip and to just try to get after it from the things I learned. I think the car was good all day, I just needed to keep getting better."

YOU'RE KIND OF ON A ROLLERCOASTER WITH QUALIFYING OF LATE. "We got on such a good roll there qualifying-wise and Kansas all weekend we struggled and we were never really good. We were struggling, especially on Friday and Saturday, even Sunday we struggled a lot, and we pulled something good out of it at the end there. Fontana last week we were second after practice, but didn't have a great draw. We went out second and just got the car a little bit too tight, so I think it was a combination of the draw hurting us last week and I didn't hit a real clean lap last week, so I felt like the car was a lot better than we qualified. We came here and it was the same thing, we unloaded well. The biggest thing for us, and something that I think over the last six or seven weeks that has improved, is just unloading good off the hauler and getting on the race track and being good in race trim, and then being able to go over to qualifying trim and make that work, so I think it's part of the way the Sprint Cup Series is, you just have to keep working hard and some weeks are better than others."

Credit - Ford Racing

Charlotte II Qualifying Results

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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Charlotte II Race Preview

No. 43 WIX Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway
• Allmendinger posted his best finish at the track (14th) this spring
• After 30 races, Allmendinger holds down 21st place in the NSCS driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway: “I think Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of the most temperature-sensitive tracks that we go to, When it’s hot out, the track is very slick and you fight grip issues, but when it’s a little cooler, like I expect it will be this weekend, the track can get really tight and you’ll struggle trying to get your car to turn. It also seems like the corners are really short. It’s really important that you can get your car to turn in and off the corners because you need to have as much momentum as possible to get down the straightaways.

“We’ve got a new paint scheme on the No. 43 Ford this weekend. WIX has been around the sport for a long time and been a long-time partner with Richard Petty and they’ve come on board this weekend to serve as primary sponsor. The car’s got a bunch of Petty Blue and looks great. I’m really excited to be behind the wheel and to be representing WIX Filters this weekend.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Charlotte: “We practice during the day and then we qualify at night, so we have to work on getting the balance right for nighttime qualifying and then the next day we practice during the day and have to get the balance right for the night race, so this one always keeps us on our toes.

“Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway is always special because it’s so close to home. This is usually one that is really important to our partners and sponsors and they typically attend this race. It’s also one of the only times during the year the crew guys’ friends and families can see them in action, so running well at CMS is important from a competition standpoint, but it has a certain pride factor involved with it too.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 265 for this weekend’s event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This chassis has been utilized on several occasions this season including the most recent event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and the spring race at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Allmendinger drove to a sixth-place finish.

Notes: The No. 43 Ford Fusion will showcase the familiar Petty Blue color this weekend as WIX Filters hops on board the car to serve as primary sponsor. WIX Filter’s history in racing started with NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, who began using the product to protect his stock car engines in 1967. WIX partnered with Petty to win his second NASCAR championship that season, and WIX filtration technology went on to help him win five more throughout his illustrious career.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fontana II Race Recap

Auto Club Speedway has not been one of the kindest tracks to AJ since the California native moved to Richard Petty Motorsports. With finishes of 29th, 33rd, and 25th in the three outings prior to this weekend’s race, my expectations weren’t unrealistically high for him being able to extend his streak of top-10 finishes.

The #43 Valvoline Ford was fast in first practice on Friday, but a bad qualifying draw and a hot, slick race track put him way back in the field for Sunday’s race. The team worked on the handling of the car in both the Saturday practice sessions, but they were still struggling to find over-all grip when Happy Hour wrapped up.

When the green flag dropped for Sunday’s race, AJ gradually made his way forward. By the first green flag pit stop he had moved from 30th position to 19th. The #43 Ford Fusion was slow on new tires, but faster on long runs. After a quick caution for the blown up #16 car of Greg Biffle, AJ made some gutsy moves on a restart and moved from 21st place to 8th in the matter of five laps.

As the middle stretch of the race played out, wind started wreaking havoc on the competitors. Already battling a car that felt like it was being driven on ice, the crosswinds mad the #43 Ford want to come around in the corner. AJ slipped back through the field and then a slow pit stop where the driver slid in too close to the wall cost them some valuable track position.

AJ stayed in the top 15 for much for the remainder of the first half of the race, but continued to battle with no front or rear grip. After another bad pit stop, this time on the part of the crew, the team decided to make some big adjustments and risk the loss of a few spots on the track. The handling seemed to be better though, because after restarting in 20th position AJ managed to again crack the top 10 by lap 150.

The last quarter of the race was plagued with cautions, one coming right after AJ hit a piece of debris that did slight damage to the splitter of the car. Varying pit strategy and a car that had trouble on newer tires led to the team falling back through the field and then coming forward.

By the final Green-White-Checker, AJ was sitting in 11th place but unfortunately was one of the last cars without fresh tires. After being blocked by Regan Smith on the restart, AJ lost his momentum going into the corner and found himself in the middle of a five-wide gaggle of cars. Just trying to survive at this point, AJ drove his heart out for the final two laps to what would end up being a 19th place finish.

It was AJ’s best result at Auto Club Speedway since joining RPM, but it was still not indicative of where he ran for most of the day. The team had a solid top-15 car and unfortunately didn’t finish where they should have. It was still an improvement on a track that they have struggled with, and hopefully will give them some notes to take to the rest of the 1 ½ and 2 mile tracks.

Fontana II Race Results

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

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fontana II Qualifying Results

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

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fontana II Preview

No. 43 Valvoline Ford Fusion

AJ Allmendinger on Auto Club Speedway: "I'm excited to get to the racetrack every week these days and the fact that we are headed to California is just an added bonus for me. I always enjoy the opportunity to go home to California and have the chance to see friends and family even in the limited amount of time that we have available. More importantly though, I get to get back in the No. 43 Ford Fusion and see what we can do.

"I think we've begun to turn a corner in the past month or so. We run much more consistently each weekend and even when we start off a little behind the eight ball like we did last week in Kansas, we are able to make better decisions in regards to what to do to make the car better throughout the course of the weekend and during the race. I'm really proud of my team and how far we've come this year. We have really high hopes for what we can accomplish together during these last seven races of the season. Everything we do now is only going to make the program for next year even stronger. This No. 43 team still has things to improve upon in order for us to be a force to be reckoned with every week, but people know we're there week in and week out and that's a step in the right direction."

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett's Thoughts on Fontana: "You can move around a lot at that track. California is a really wide track and there are three or four different lines you can take and move around in to help the car out if you need to. It's a big momentum track to so you need to be able to get in and off the corners well so you have good momentum getting onto the long straightaways."

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 276 for this weekend's event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This chassis was most recently run at the second event at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway and has also been utilized at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

AJ Allmendinger - Ford Interview

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the No. 43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion, has been one of the hotter drivers on the Cup circuit in recent weeks. Allmendinger posted a top-10 finish last weekend in Kansas and now returns to his home state of California for this weekend's Pepsi MAX 400. Allmendinger talked about returning to the Golden State and his recent work on Fords 43 Fiestas campaign, meeting Ken Block, and more.

YOU ARE HEADING BACK TO YOUR HOME STATE THIS WEEKEND, IS THAT FUN OR STRESSFUL OR BOTH FOR YOU? "Fontana is not too bad because it is Southern California. I basically have a few family and friends that will come out there. Sonoma is a lot more stressful for me. I enjoy going back to California any chance I get. We are going out early this week and we are going to play Pebble Beach and Spyglass, which the way it has been going I am not sure why, but it should be cool. When it comes to the race itself, we didn't have a very good first race there but it is something we have been working on and I feel we have gotten a lot better since we were there. It is exciting, but I am a little nervous to see how we will be there. It hasn't been our best type of race track, but I think we have learned a lot of things over the last few weeks that I think will help us there."

YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A BIG PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR FORD RIGHT NOW WITH THE 43 FIESTAS. ARE YOU GOING HOLLYWOOD ON US? "I have always been Hollywood; people are just now starting to recognize it (laughter)."

WELL YOU SEEM COMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF A CAMERA, DO YOU ENJOY IT? "It has been cool. Being able to be a part of Ford and have a certain thing that has to do with myself and the No. 43 and Ken Block has been really fun. It will be a lot better if we go to Homestead and actually win the thing because people will like me after that. If I don't win, then people will hate me, which I am used to. Seriously though, it has been a lot of fun and exciting to be a part of Ford and for them to allow me to do these things has been great. Every day I would rather be driving a race car, but I enjoy doing stuff like that. That is something that Richard Petty has taught me. He always says that if you are going to be asked to do stuff like that, then you should have fun doing it. It has been really cool."

YOU GOT TO INVOLVE RICHARD PETTY AND KEN BLOCK IN THESE COMMERCIALS AND WEBISODES, WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO HAVE THOSE WORLDS ALL COLLIDE? "Obviously I am around Richard every weekend, but to be able to see Ken Block and meet him and to talk to him was great. I always enjoy being able to talk to different athletes and learn about their sport. It is still auto racing, but it is a completely different type. He is pretty good at it, so to talk to him and see what gets him going and what he thrives on and how he goes about things is really cool. Seeing the inside videos he has that he is doing, like Gymkhana THREE which is amazing, was really fun."

IS THERE ANYTING ABOUT THAT PRODUCTION PROCESS THAT SURPRISED YOU? "It is a lot of work for the camera crew, but for us it is kind of boring. We got like an hour of fun and 10 hours of standing around. For something that is 30-seconds long, you think that we can knock it out in a couple of hours. It just takes a long time, but at the same time it is really fun. We had some weather issues along the way that lengthened our days. Everything that goes into those things and being able to hang out with the crew and having some fun with them was great. The whole experience has been awesome. Now if we can just get everyone to go to and register so that I get even more people cheering for me in Homestead, that would be awesome."

Credit - Ford Racing

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Ramble - Kansas Edition

Petty Team Shows Championship Material

When AJ Allmendinger scored his first career top ten finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2008, I didn’t think I would ever be happier for a 10th place result. Sunday’s finish at Kansas Speedway rivaled that elation, though. You would think that the run at Dover the prior week where AJ led 143 laps before having a tire go flat, and then coming back from a lap down to finish 10th, would be better than what happened at Kansas. In some ways it was. There was definitely some satisfaction in seeing that #43 Insignia Ford run fast in every practice, sit on the outside pole, and then be dominant in the race. However, what excited me about the Kansas finish is not the single-race result, but the implications for the future.

On any given weekend there are fast cars and there are cars that struggle. What sets the good teams apart is their ability to take a car that isn’t handling well and make it better. Hitting on a setup that is fast all weekend is a great thing, but it doesn’t happen very often. And the word that defines success in NASCAR is consistency. It’s all about learning how to recover from not unloading fast or from not qualifying well. Look at what the regular season points leader Kevin Harvick was able to do through the first part of the year as an example. They didn’t qualify well at a lot of tracks, ran in twenty-something place for ¾ of the race, and then somehow ended up with a top 10 finish at the end of the day. That is the same kind of mettle that the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team showed this weekend.

From the time AJ hit the track they were struggling to find grip. It wasn’t just getting bite off the corner or turning through the middle – they couldn’t find traction anywhere. The car was pushing the front through the corner, and anytime they helped that condition it just made the rear grip worse. Not only that, but the car was unstable – the back end was twitching around and dancing all the way through the corner so much that it was obvious even watching it on television. AJ almost lost it in turn 2 on his qualifying lap and could only recover enough in his second lap to garner a 30th place start. Prospects were looking dismal for him being able to continue his streak of good runs.

Then something amazing happened on Sunday. Even knowing that RPM has been focusing their engineering resources on the Mike Shiplett led Insignia crew, I had serious doubts that they were going to be able to fix the handling of the car. I listened to the scanner just like always though, and heard what was quite possibly the best round of communication that I’ve ever heard out of that team. While AJ was obviously frustrated with his car as he ran right around 25th place for the first half of the race, he did a wonderful job of keeping a positive attitude. He was able to convey his dissatisfaction without bringing the team down, and even when he had a hard time explaining what he needed to make the car better, crew chief Mike Shiplett kept asking questions to try and understand what was happening so he could devise a plan of action.

I heard discussions about the car that I’ve never heard in my almost four years of listening to AJ’s scanners. Discussions that are probably used in the normal course of race practices and testing, but not usually during the race itself. And near the ¾ point of the race that in-depth communication apparently paid off as the team finally seemed to hit on something that would help the car. Along with a fabulous final pit stop that redeemed the pit crew from a couple slow ones earlier, as well as a driver who was driving his heart out each and every lap, the team’s perseverance resulted in a last lap pass to put the #43 Insignia Ford in 10th place. I wish I had recorded the audio so that I could give some examples of what I heard that impressed me so much, but I didn’t see any point in it after not expecting much in the way of results.

All I can say is that Mike Shiplett and the engineering team kept digging to find a solution. AJ’s spotter Tony Hirschman gave AJ pointers on which lines were working and kept him calm, as he always does. And AJ kept fighting tooth and nail to improve his position while only taking as much as the car was giving him. If he tried to take too much he likely would have ended up in the wall. Even in the closing laps as AJ ran down the #1 car of Jamie McMurray, Tony came on the radio and told AJ to just continue what he was doing and he would catch him, not letting the driver’s natural instinct to push harder destroy all that they had gained. And sure enough, AJ caught Jamie, set him up for the pass, and executed it with a flair that I wish the ESPN cameras had managed to catch more than a glimpse of.

So while AJ finished in the same position he did last week, I was more impressed with this week’s results. Anybody can take a good car and drive it to the front. It takes a great deal of teamwork, determination, and pure grit to take a bad car and do the same thing. Last weekend at Dover the #43 Insignia team showed me that they have what it takes to be race winners. This week they showed me that they have what it takes to be championship contenders in the future. When the green flag waved at Kansas I thought the race was going to be a total throwaway, but I have never been so happy to say that I was wrong. Yes, that does happen every once in a while.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kansas Race Recap

AJ Allmendinger hadn't been expecting too much out of the visit to Kansas Speedway as the No. 43 Insignia Best Buy Ford Fusion just had not come springing out of the gates to start the weekend. But never say die is pretty much an understatement for AJ and the full Richard Petty Motorsports gang as Sunday saw Allmendinger fight his way from 30th on the grid to lead laps and come home in 10th at the finish.

The result is the third top ten in the last four weeks for AJ and bumped him up two spots in the provisional points standings to 19th as the season hits the home stretch. With the Biff winning, and four Fords in the top ten, it was a good day for the Blue Oval, too!

"It was a hard fought day today!" said AJ "We definitely have some room to improve. I'm proud of team for fighting as hard as did. I think it shows the caliber of the group and how we can stay focused and improve even when we can have such a bad start to weekend. So it's great to move all the way from 30th at the start to bring home another top ten and have a good points day as well. We really struggled on new tires and we couldn't chase that down very well. Luckily, we were just right on the tires coming in to get the last 2 spots and get into the top 10 at the finish."

Credit -

Kansas Post-Race Quotes

AJ ALLMENDINGER - No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion
Finished 10th
“I’m really proud of the way this No. 43 Insignia HDTV team comes together. We took a 30th starting position and came out with a top-10 finish. This Richard Petty Motorsports team didn’t give up and I’m really proud
of that. We need to keep at it and make sure we build more consistency, but I’ll take another top-10.”


PAUL MENARD- No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion
Finished 8th
"Track position is important and the further back you got today, the worse your car handled. Clean air was very important. We got out front and were able to set sail. After a little bit, four tires showed up and the 16 passed us. I am kind of disappointed with fourth because we had a little bit of a slow pit stop the last pit stop. I am proud of the guys though because this was a fast car all weekend."


KASEY KAHNE - No. 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion
Finished 37th
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "The car doesn't look too good. I was bouncing pretty bad throughout the whole race and through practice yesterday really. We never got it fixed. I just got all mixed up. It wasn't too bad when it first went green because I was out in the open. The longer it went, Jeff got by us. I knew from the time it went green that we were in trouble because of the bouncing. I couldn't hardly control it and still run competitive speeds. Something was bound to happen. I actually got loose in and then tight and then loose and spun out and hit the wall. I should have just slowed way down and I didn't. I just tried to get some more on that restart there and it didn't work out."

Credit - Ford Racing & Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Kansas Race Results

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

Kansas Qualifying Results

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

Friday, October 1, 2010

Grass Roots Campaign to Keep Best Buy on the 43

Want to be a part of keeping one of NASCAR's major sponsors in the sport? I am starting an email campaign to the heads of marketing at Best Buy and want your help. Get as many people as you can to email and asking them to keep Best Buy on the 43 car. Please spread it around to all of your friends and fellow NASCAR fans. Even if you're not an AJ Allmendinger fan, if you are a fan of NASCAR you should send Best Buy a couple of words of appreciation. It will be detrimental to the sport to lose another sponsor just because they are starting to think that NASCAR isn't worth their advertising dollars. We need to show them that NASCAR fans are worth it. Please help!

Kansas Preview

No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion

• AJ Allmendinger has made two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway
• Allmendinger scored a ninth-place finish on the 1.5-mile oval in 2008
• After 28 races, Allmendinger holds down 21st place in the NSCS driver point standings

AJ Allmendinger on the Season Nearing a Close: “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.”

Do you Think You’re Inching Closer to Finding 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. Last week in Dover was big 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.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Kansas: “For this weekend in Kansas, we will take kind of our Chicagoland Speedway setup and use some of the information and setup we had at Michigan International Speedway to create the setup that we think we will best for the Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion. We’ll also look back at some of the issues that we had at Kansas last year because we had AJ driving the No. 44 car for Richard Petty Motorsports there. We’ll take what we learned from Chicago this season and start from there to begin.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 294 for this weekend’s event at Kansas Speedway. This chassis has been run on two previous occasions this season. Allmendinger drove this particular Insignia HDTV Ford Fusion to a 14th-finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the spring and had an 11th-place result with it in the first race this season at Michigan International Speedway.

Notes: Prior to last weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway, 28-year-old AJ Allmendinger had led 43 laps in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. Allmendinger nearly quadrupled that last weekend, leading 143 laps in the 400-lap event before a cut tire forced him to give up the lead and make an unscheduled stop. The Insignia HDTV team rallied to finish 10th in the event.

AJ Allmendinger will take part in the Tom Murphy Memorial Golf Classic at the National Golf Club of Kansas City, located in Parkville, Mo., this Thursday before heading to the track on Friday. Allmendinger will join RPM teammate Kasey Kahne and several other NASCAR drivers to take part in a ceremonial first tee shot to start the event. A.J. Allmendinger also will visit with media and tournament participants.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR