Monday, May 9, 2011

Darlington Race Review

No. 43 BEST BUY Ford Fusion

■AJ Allmendinger started in the 7th position at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Saturday night
■Allmendinger finished the event in 20th place
■Unofficially, Allmendinger holds down 11th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings

Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger lined up for Saturday evening’s event at Darlington Raceway in the seventh position and let crew chief Mike Shiplett know early on that the Best Buy Ford was a bit of a handful. A tight handling condition kept Allmendinger on his toes until the first pit stop of the day, which came on Lap 38. Shiplett called for air pressure and track bar adjustments in addition to four tires and fuel on that first stop. Allmendinger returned to the track for the Lap 42 restart in 25th place.

Allmendinger remained inside the top 25 through the first 100 laps of the race, and continued to relay information about the car’s handling to his team. A tight condition prevailed for much of the night, but Shiplett and his Richard Petty Motorsports crew refused to give up, making air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments during various stops. At Lap 130, Allmendinger told the team that the car was better, but still got tight toward the end of the run.

The No. 43 went one lap down to the leaders near the halfway point and Allmendinger worked to get himself in the position for the Lucky Dog award for the remainder of the race, but the cautions never fell at the right time for the team. Allmendinger held down 21st place at the 300-lap mark and the driver managed to escape incident during a wild final 20 laps. The race went into overtime and when the checkered flag finally flew, the Best Buy Ford stood in the 20th position.

Allmendinger remains in 11th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings heading into next Sunday’s race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

Before making his way to Dover, Allmendinger will take a trip to Kentucky Speedway. Allmendinger will spend Wednesday with media at the track, which will host its first Sprint Cup Series event in July.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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