No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
* AJ Allmendinger has made five starts on the 2.5-mile Daytona Beach, Fla. track.
* Allmendinger’s highest finish (third) at the track came in an RPM car in the 2009 Daytona 500
* Allmendinger led 11 laps in last year’s season opening event at Daytona International Speedway
AJ Allmendinger on Daytona International Speedway: “It is definitely smoother. It has little choppy bumps in it and is not glass smooth like Talladega feels like, but it definitely has a ton of grip. I think the tests showed, just looking at what people were saying, that we are going to run three or four wide. Three-wide might be okay, but this place isn’t wide enough for four-wide like at Talladega. The crazy thing I struggled with at the test is that the wall doesn’t feel straight when it comes through the corners. It almost kind of has little points where it jots back at you. If you are up against the wall, you almost have to watch where the wall moves. That is something, for me, I have noticed. Other than that, it is the same old Daytona.”
Fueler Derick Jennings on the Fueling Changes for 2011: “It’ll make my job harder. It’s a closed-loop system and you don’t have a catch can man, so I’ll be doing all the work. It’s a two-part system. The part that plugs into the car, one part sends fuel and the other part exhausts the air to the outer ring of it. Fuel goes on the inside of it and the air goes on the outside and then it comes up the handle of the can. When you fill it up with the second can it starts coming back up the hose and you will be able to tell when it is full. The good part of that is that the only place that can spill fuel is where it plugs into the car. The closed loop system has several advantages—it gets one guy off pit road and it’s a vapor recovery system.
“It will be a little slower to fuel the car than we are used to. Also, with the old system, it never slowed down the flow of the can when you were plugged in, but it’s a different kind of system. Another thing that will slow the stops down is that you have to go back to the wall and grab the other can and the can will be completely unplugged. The catch can man used to be able to hold that first can while you did that. You will lose two and a half to three seconds in between cans when the car isn’t being fueled at all.”
Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 722 for this weekend’s event at Daytona International Speedway. This is a brand new Best Buy Ford and is not the car the team tested at the track in January.
Notes: Allmendinger has competed in five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on the 2.5-mile oval and has scored one top-five finish—a third-place effort in the 2009 Daytona 500 while driving the No. 44 Richard Petty Motorsports machine. The Daytona 500 will mark Allmendinger’s 117th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Dale Inman will be inducted into the Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Monday, February 14th. Inman was Richard Petty’s crew chief for all seven of Petty’s championships and has set the record for most wins by a crew chief.
Can’t get enough AJ? The Dinger will be a regular guest on Todd Wright Tonight on Sporting News Radio on Wednesday evenings. Allmendinger can also be heard speaking with host Dave Moody on Fridays in the 3 -7 p.m. ET time slot on Sirius NASCAR Radio. Allmendinger will also participate in a weekly driver video blog on FoxSports.com.
Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR