Thursday, May 26, 2011

Charlotte Race Preview

No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion
• Allmendinger has made eight starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway
• Allmendinger enters the race in 16th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger’s best start (third) at the 1.5-mile track came in last year’s fall event

AJ Allmendinger on Charlotte: “With the Coca-Cola 600 being run on Memorial Day weekend it’s a special race to pay tribute to all of our armed forces. We’ve got the U.S. Air Force on board with us this weekend and they have been a really great partner. The No. 43 Ford Fusion looks great in Air Force colors and we’re proud to be associated with them.

“Obviously running 600 miles is a lot different than last weekend’s 40-lap sprint, but based on the way we ran last weekend in the Showdown, I think it’s safe to say that we are beginning to make strides in our 1.5-mile program. Shiplett and the crew worked really hard to give me a good car in the Showdown last weekend and I really think we learned a lot of things about the car that we can apply to this weekend’s race. I’m really looking forward to running this U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion and getting a great finish for our team and our troops.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on the Coca-Cola 600: “It’s the longest race of the year, it’s grueling for the driver and it’s equally grueling for the pit crew. Thursday we practice during the day and then we qualify at night, so we have to work on getting the balance right for nighttime qualifying. Saturday we practice during the day and have to get the balance right for Sunday’s night race, so this one always keeps us on our toes.

“Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway is always special because it’s so close to home. This is a race that is really important to our partners and with this being Air Force’s first race it’s an extra incentive for us to run well on this Memorial Day weekend. It’s also one of the only times during the year the crew guys’ friends and families can see them in action, so running well at Charlotte is important from a competition standpoint but it has a certain pride factor involved with it too.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 752 for this weekend’s event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This U.S. Air Force Ford has been run previously this season at Texas Motor Speedway.

Notes: Allmendinger has eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Allmendinger’s best starting position at Charlotte (third) came in 2010. During last year’s fall event, Allmendinger led five laps at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. He enters this weekend in 16th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. Allmendinger has run a total of 2,390 laps equaling 3,585 miles in Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte.

Allmendinger will have a different look this weekend as the U.S. Air Force makes its first appearance of the year as the primary partner of the No. 43 Ford Fusion.

The No. 43 team spent Tuesday, May 24 testing at Virginia International Raceway in preparation for the upcoming road course events.

The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Drivers will run a grueling 400 laps/600 miles at the 1.5-mile superspeedway in a race that starts during daylight hours and runs into the night.

Come join in on the fun! Richard Petty Motorsports will hold its second annual Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday, May 26 from 7-11:30 a.m. at the Richard Petty Motorsports shop in Concord, N.C. Get there early because the first 200 fans in line who donate a 24-pack of pencils to Classroom Central will receive a commemorative ticket allowing them access to the shop and an autograph session with Allmendinger, Marcos Ambrose and Richard Petty.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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