Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pocono Race Preview

No. 43 Medallion Financial Ford Fusion
• Allmendinger has made seven starts at Pocono (Penn.) Raceway
• Allmendinger enters the race in 16th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger’s best finish (10th) at the 2.5-mile track came in last year’s June race

AJ Allmendinger on Pocono: “Pocono is a cool race track. It’s different than any other track we go to this year. I’m really looking forward to going to the “Tricky Triangle.” Pocono is a track that is bumpy in certain areas and we really can’t make the car perfect in all three of the turns, so we’ve got to pick and choose what areas we need to be the best in. This year will be a little bit of a different driving experience than I have ever had at Pocono because I’ll be shifting. We haven’t had to shift at Pocono in almost 10 years, so that will be a learning experience. I always look forward to Pocono even though the race is really long. Medallion Financial is on the car this weekend and they are bringing a ton of people to the track, so I really want to get a good finish for them and my whole Richard Petty Motorsports team.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Thoughts on Pocono: “Pocono Raceway has three unique corners and the longest straightaway of any track we go to. Turn 1 is a sweeping, long, slow entry turn and is really bumpy. To keep the splitter from hitting the ground in Turn 1 we’ll have to use more spring than we want to on the Medallion Financial Ford. The extra spring hurts us on exit of Turn 1 and Turn 2, the tunnel turn, which is really fast. It also makes us too tight coming off of Turn 3. We’ll have to give up something in Turn 1 to make us better on other parts of the track. A lot of crews want to give up a little bit of performance in Turn 1, because there is such a long straightaway off of Turn 3 and the driver can really make up a lot of time going down the front straightaway going into Turn 1.

“We’ll use a lot of brakes at Pocono. The thing about Pocono is that you have a lot of time for the brakes to cool down in between the turns. So saving the brakes is a big issue, but it’s not a big issue in the heat sense like it is at a lot of the other tracks we go to, so you can get away with a lot more.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 729 for this weekend’s event at Pocono. This Medallion Financial Ford Fusion has been run previously this season at Phoenix, Martinsville Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

Notes: Allmendinger has seven starts and two Top-15 finishes at Pocono Raceway. Allmendinger’s best finishing position at Pocono (10th) came in last year’s June race. Allmendinger enters this weekend in 16th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. Allmendinger has completed 1,307 of 1,310 laps attempted at the 2.5-mile tri-oval.

Allmendinger will have a different look this weekend as Medallion Financial will be the primary partner of the No. 43 Ford Fusion. The Sprint Cup Series will implement a new qualifying procedure this weekend at Pocono. Under the new format, the go-or-go home cars will be interspersed with cars from the top 35 in owner points that are guaranteed starting spots. Qualifying order will be set by speeds established in the first practice session only, with slowest going out first and fastest qualifying last.

Allmendinger and team owner Richard Petty will be going to Nashville (Tenn.), Thursday on behalf of Richard Petty Motorsports partner, Super 8, to participate in media activities taking place around the CMA Music Festival. In addition, Allmendinger will be making an appearance at the Super 8 display in the Fun Zone from 10 a.m. — noon to sign autographs.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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