Thursday, June 16, 2011

Michigan Race Preview

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
• Allmendinger has made seven starts at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.
• Allmendinger enters the race in 18th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger’s best start (sixth) at the track came in the 2009 spring race.

Allmendinger on Michigan: “We love racing in Ford's backyard. It gives us the chance to be able to thank them for everything they do for us and it means a lot to us to be able to do that for all of our partners. It would be pretty great to win my first race with everyone from Ford in attendance.

"We haven’t run as well as we would have liked the past couple of weeks, but Mike Shiplett, the Best Buy crew and I are working hard to figure out what we need to do and we're happy to be headed back to a track where we ran well last year. We want to be one of the strongest Ford teams in the field and hopefully this weekend will be a turning point and we can get some momentum back with a good finish at Michigan on Sunday.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Keys to Getting Around Michigan: “Michigan is a very unique track. It doesn’t have a lot of banking, but it’s a very big track. It has four or five different lines the cars can actually run on, so you try to set up the car for one groove and then AJ can move around and change lines to try and help adjust the handling of the car as needed. It’s really a driver dependent track. It’s up to AJ on which line he wants to run and how the Best Buy Ford feels in the various grooves. Pit stops and track position are key everywhere we go, but especially at Michigan because even though it is a wide track it’s still very hard to pass on because the cars are so equal. Fuel mileage will also be important this weekend.

“The biggest challenge we will face as a team in Michigan is that the car starts one way in the beginning of a run and it will change 180 degrees by the end of the run because the tires wear out so fast. Michigan is a grip dominated track and it will really be key to manage the balance between the beginning of a fuel run and the end of a fuel run.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 710 for this weekend’s event at Michigan International Speedway. This Best Buy Ford has been run previously this season at Bristol and Dover.

Notes: Allmendinger has seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway. Allmendinger’s best starting position (sixth) at the two-mile track came in 2009. He has led one lap at Michigan and completed 1,343 of 1,403 laps attempted. Allmendinger enters the weekend in 18th spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings.

Allmendinger’s car will have a different look this weekend than in past weekends as Best Buy will return as the primary partner of the No. 43 Ford Fusion.

Can’t get enough of AJ? The Dinger will be signing autographs at the Best Buy store in Jackson, Mich. (1014 Jackson Crossing, Jackson, Mich., 49202). The appearance is scheduled for Thursday, June 16, from 7-8 p.m. ET and is open to the public.

Don’t miss out on your chance to meet “The King!” Richard Petty will make a Best Buy store appearance in Perrysburg, Ohio (10017 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg, Ohio, 43551). The appearance is scheduled for Friday, June 17 from 7-9 p.m. ET. The first 300 people in line will get a ticket giving them access to the appearance.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports Press Release

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