Thursday, May 5, 2011

Darlington Race Preview

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
• Allmendinger has made four starts at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway
• Allmendinger enters the race in 11th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger will make his 126th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend in Darlington

AJ Allmendinger on Darlington: “Darlington is such a tough track, maybe one of the toughest we race on all season. I don’t think anyone walks out of there with their car unscathed. There is definitely truth to why the track is called “Too Tough To Tame.” But I love it. With Richmond last weekend, it’s cool to have back-to-back Saturday night races too. Darlington, like Richmond, has been a part of the sport for a long time, so the history-side of it is pretty cool too.

“Qualifying is going to be important for the Best Buy Ford this weekend. It’d be great to qualify up front and get ahead from the start of the race. Mike Shiplett and this No. 43 team have worked really hard. We’ve made some progress in the point standings but there is still progress to be made. I’m excited and ready to get at it.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Darlington: “You still run the same line that you ran at the old Darlington before they repaved it, but the tire wear doesn't come into play like it used to. They only lose about two tenths over a fuel run. The track is really fast, the tires get really hot and you lose overall grip, but the speed is still there. You need a car that turns really good at Darlington. Qualifying is going to be really important because it’s really hard to pass. We’re looking forward to getting the Best Buy Ford Fusion back on track after our seventh place finish last weekend and improving even more this weekend in the point standings.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 729 for this weekend’s event at Darlington Raceway. This Best Buy Ford has been run previously this season at Phoenix and Martinsville.

Notes: Allmendinger has four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington Raceway. Allmendinger’s best starting position (12th) came in 2010 at the 1.366-mile track. He has completed 1,253 of 1,468 laps attempted. After Allmendinger’s seventh-place finish last weekend in Richmond, he enters Darlington in 11th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings.

Allmendinger’s No. 43 Ford Fusion will return to its blue and yellow colors as Best Buy will be the primary partner this weekend at Darlington Raceway.

Allmendinger will be signing autographs at the Richard Petty Motorsports merchandise hauler Saturday, May 7 at 4:00 p.m. The first 75 guest in line at the merchandise hauler will receive a ticket that will allow them to take part in the autograph session.

Come join in on the fun! Petty Fest is this Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Richard Petty Museum in Randleman, N.C. Get there early because admission is just $5, but the first 92 people get in FREE! Activities include music by Rock 92, wine tasting, a silent auction, racing simulators, games, give-a-ways and much more. Richard Petty will also make an appearance at 11:30 a.m., so don’t miss out on your opportunity to meet “The King”.

Did you vote today? Vote your favorite RPM driver into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21, via the Sprint Fan Vote. Cast your vote at or on your Sprint phone. Voting ends at 5 p.m. ET on May 21. Voting is limited to once per hour.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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