Monday, April 18, 2011

Talladega Race Recap

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
■AJ Allmendinger started in the 24th position at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. on Sunday.
■ Allmendinger wheeled his way to an 11th-place finishing position
■ Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 15th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings

Race Summary: Starting the Aaron’s 499 from the 24th position, Allmendinger quickly found a drafting partner in David Reutimann and ran as high as 14th in the early laps of the 188-lap event.

A yellow flag on Lap 28 enabled Allmendinger to head down pit road for fresh right side tires and fuel. Taking the green flag in 12th place, Allmendinger once again found drafting partner Reutimann and the two drove into the top 10 by Lap 48. Allmendinger remained within sight of the leaders, and at Lap 115, held down the 10th spot. After a quick caution flag with 50 laps to go, Allmendinger lined up for the Lap 133 restart in fifth place.

In typical Talladega fashion, things took a turn for the worse quickly. Allmendinger was one of several cars involved in an incident on the backstretch on Lap 140. The accident resulted in flat left side tires and left rear damage to the No. 43 Best Buy Ford. Crew Chief Mike Shiplett called his driver into the pits to access the damage. Allmendinger made several pit stops during the caution period to allow the RPM crew to make repairs to the car, which they were able to do without losing a lap to the leaders.

Allmendinger lined up for the Lap 145 restart in the 16th position and, with the help of his drafting partner, had worked his way to eighth place with 40 laps remaining in the race. With just over 20 laps remaining, a quick stop for a splash of gas during a caution period and Allmendinger was in good shape for the final 20 laps of the race.

Allmendinger found a new drafting partner in Paul Menard and the two remained within sight of the leaders. Holding down 23rd with seven laps to go, Allmendinger steadily moved up through the field in the closing laps and took the checkered flag in 11th place.

Despite the 11th place finish, the No. 43 team fell two positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, but still remains only 19 points outside of 10th position.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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