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