Thursday, June 23, 2011

Infineon Race Preview

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
• Allmendinger has made three starts at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
• Allmendinger enters the race in 17th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger’s best finish (seventh) at the track came in the 2009 event

Allmendinger on the Keys to Success in Sonoma: “My plan is to follow Marcos [teammate Marcos Ambrose] around (laughs). I’m going to try to do that most of the race and then pass him on the last lap, hopefully.

“No, in all seriousness, we’ll have to get the Best Buy Ford Fusion turning fairly good in the corner, but the biggest thing is you have to have forward drive off all the way through the esses. In 2009 we were pretty good there and we had good forward drive the whole time and it made passing pretty easy in Turn 11. Last year we didn't have any forward drive and we were getting killed there. That’s the biggest thing, and like I said, just follow Marcos.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Keys to Getting Around Sonoma: “You have to be able to keep good forward bite off the corner. You need good turn in the middle, but it's more the forward bite off the corner that you need to concentrate on. Keeping all four wheels on the asphalt and not in the grass is also certainly something that is important. You also need to be getting good fuel mileage so you can open up your windows on pit stops and you have more choices of when you can and can't pit.

“Qualifying is important, but there’s not a huge advantage for picking a pit stall on pit road because you don't plan on coming down under a yellow flag condition on a road course race. You work the race backwards. Ideally, you want to be the first one on pit road after you are able to make it to the end of the race.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 760 for this weekend’s event at Infineon Raceway. Though this weekend will mark the first time this particular car has been utilized this season. Allmendinger and the No. 43 team tested it several times at Virginia International Raceway.

Notes: Allmendinger has three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Infineon Raceway. Allmendinger’s best starting position 15th at the 1.99-mile track came in last season’s event.

Allmendinger will head to Sonoma early to take part in a media luncheon at McCormick and Kuleto’s on Thursday afternoon. Several NASCAR drivers including California native, Allmendinger, will attend.

Richard Petty will be featured in Sonoma’s Legends of Racing program this weekend. Three of the biggest names in NASCAR history will be featured throughout the race weekend: The trio, which features Bobby Allison, Petty and Ned Jarrett, will be featured during a special Q&A session on race day, Sunday, June 26, during pre-event ceremonies.

On Saturday, June 25, following final practice, AJ will join members of his fan club in the Turn 10 tower suites at Infineon Raceway. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in a meet and greet/Q-and-A session with AJ as well as win some great prizes, including AJ gear, a GARMIN gps unit from Best Buy and a special grand prize. Space is still available at

Visit the Richard Petty Motorsports website at for up-to-date news and information about AJ Allmendinger, partner promotions and all things Richard Petty Motorsports.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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