No. 43 Valvoline Ford Fusion
*AJ Allmendinger began the race at Talladega Superspeedway from the 36th position
*Allmendinger’s race ended a half lap early due to an accident and the team was credited with a 32nd-place finish
*Allmendinger fell one spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and now stands in the 21st place.
Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger started Sunday’s 188-lap event at Talladega Superspeedway from the 36th position. The green flag brought the field roaring to life under sunny skies in front of a crowd eager to see what kind of action would unfold on the high banks of the Alabama track.
The field raced single-file and Allmendinger remained in the second of two packs of cars that sailed around the 2.5-mile superspeedway for the opening laps of the race. At Lap 38, teams began to cycle through scheduled green flag stops including the No. 43 Valvoline team. With the first stop of the day, the Richard Petty Motorsports crew bolted on four fresh Goodyear tires and topped the Ford Racing machine with fuel. As Allmendinger went to leave the pit, however, his racecar stalled, which left the driver needing a push from his crew before the engine re-fired.
Back on track the 28-year-old driver patiently held position among the middle pack of the field as spotter Tony Hirschman kept his eye on when and how the driver should make his next move. At Lap 69, Allmendinger got sideways after contact from another competitor but was able to avoid contact with the inside wall as he spun down on the apron. With the caution flag displayed, the Valvoline crew was able to make necessary repairs to the bumper cover and quarter panel as well as add fresh tires and fuel in two trips down pit road.
Due to the team having to make the stops for repairs, Allmendinger subsequently lost two laps to the leader. However with 36 laps to go in the event, the driver was in position to receive the free pass, which put him back on the lead lap for the closing laps.
Allmendinger had clawed his way into the top 20 with only a few laps remaining and was in the thick of the pack making a move towards the front. But bad luck came calling again for the No. 43 Ford. On the final lap of the race as the field made its way around Turns 3 and 4, Allmendinger was involved in an accident that sent him flipping in the air before making contact with the inside wall. Thankfully the driver was injury-free after the incident. The No. 43 was credited with a 32nd place finish.
Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports