Monday, March 21, 2011

Bristol Race Review

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
• AJ Allmendinger started in the 28th position at Bristol Motor Speedway
• Allmendinger finished the event in the 31st position after being caught up in a multi-car accident early in the race
• Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 16th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver points after the fourth race of the season

Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger lined up in the 28th position for the start of the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Though he was able to pick up several spots in the early laps of the event, Allmendinger communicated to crew chief Mike Shiplett that the handling of the Best Buy Ford was going to need some help if their Richard Petty Motorsports team was going to make it to Victory Lane.

Unfortunately, those hopes were quashed just 25 laps into the race when Allmendinger was caught up in a multi-car accident. In an effort to avoid the melee ahead of him, Allmendinger moved up to the top of the track but ran out of room between the outside wall and the No. 11 car, which was stopped on the track. The contact resulted in minor left side damage to the car in addition to affecting the wheel alignment of the car.

After quick repairs by the Best Buy crew in the pits, Allmendinger returned to the track four laps in arrears. Though the car was a little worse for the wear, Allmendinger was able to run competitive lap times. At the Lap 130 mark, the California native let his crew know that the Best Buy Ford was free going into Turn 1 and a little tight in the center. Shiplett made plans to make minor adjustment to the car during the next stop.

At the halfway point of the race, Allmendinger held down the 34th position and was battling with only one other competitor on his same lap. He was able to pick up several positions in the middle stages of the race, but at Lap 387, communicated via team radio that the car was losing power.

A yellow flag at Lap 429 enabled Shiplett to call his driver into the pits. After a quick check under the hood for a loose plug wire, the team bolted on four fresh tires and sent the No. 43 machine back out on the track.

Allmendinger was able to avoid another multi-car accident with just over 50 laps remaining in the event and when the checkered flag flew at the half-mile Bristol oval, Allmendinger had made his way into the 31st position.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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