Thursday, February 24, 2011

Phoenix Race Preview

No. 43 Valvoline Ford Fusion
• Allmendinger has made five starts at Phoenix International Raceway
• Allmendinger enters this race in 10th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger won his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at Phoenix in last year’s spring race

Allmendinger on Winning the Pole Last Year in Phoenix: “Winning the pole last year was incredible. It was my first Cup Series pole and I felt like it was a turning point in our qualifying program. Since I’ve been with my crew chief Mike Shiplett and the guys on my team I’ve always qualified well at Phoenix and I knew it was only a matter of time before we got our first pole. We have a great qualifying package there and it’s a place we’ve always been really fast. It’s a track where it is easy to miss your marks during qualifying, so to hear Shiplett come on the radio and say we were on the pole last spring was really cool.”

Allmendinger on Phoenix International Raceway: “I’m excited to get back to Phoenix and race the Valvoline Ford on the west coast where I grew up. Phoenix is a unique track because it’s a race where you depend on driver technique. It’s a lot flatter than most of the tracks we go to and it’s slick, but that’s what makes it challenging and fun to race on.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Keys to Getting Around Phoenix: “At Phoenix, both ends of the track are very different, so you have to work really hard to get the car balanced because it’s easy to get loose off of the corners. Turns 1 and 2 are much different than Turns 3 and 4, so even if you have your car perfect in 1 and 2, you’ll be way too loose off 4. Turn 2 opens up and you have a lot of race track, but 4 doesn’t open up like that and it’s pretty easy to hit the wall. We’ve got a good car this weekend that we tested in January at New Smyrna Speedway, so we’re looking forward to getting it on the track Friday.”

Shiplett’s Thoughts on the Daytona 500: “I was pleased with how the race ended. We finished with all four tires on the ground and on the lead lap. I think we had a better car than what our finish showed, but all in all it was a good day for us in the points.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 729 for this weekend’s event at Phoenix International Raceway. This Valvoline Ford is a new car, but was tested at New Smyrna Speedway in Smyrna Beach, Fla. in January.

Notes: Allmendinger has five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway and his first Sprint Cup Series pole came in last year’s spring race at the 1.0-mile oval. Allmendinger has completed a total of 1,624 laps at the track and has an average finish of 19.4.

Allmendinger will have a different look this weekend as Valvoline will make its first appearance of the year as the primary sponsor of the No. 43 Ford Fusion.

Richard Petty will be inducted into the Diecast Hall of Fame at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday, February 26, at 7 p.m. The Diecast Hall of Fame represents those individuals who have made a direct impact on the diecast collecting community through their hard work and dedication. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

The new Richard Petty Motorsports site is now up and running. Check out news on AJ and the rest of the RPM team at

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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