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

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