Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pocono Race Recap

No. 43 Medallion Financial Ford Fusion
• AJ Allmendinger started in the 28th position Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway
• Allmendinger finished the 200-lap event at the 2.5-mile tri-oval in the 25th position
• Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 18th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings

Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger lined up in the 28th spot for the start of the 500-mile race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday afternoon. An early caution period enabled Allmendinger to communicate to crew chief Mike Shiplett that the Medallion Financial Ford was tight on entry in the turns and loose in the center and exiting the turns. Shiplett called for chassis adjustments and four fresh tires and fuel during the first pit stop of the day, which came on Lap 10.

Restarting in the 40th position, Allmendinger relayed to Shiplett and crew the changes made during the previous pit stop had not helped the handling of the car, and the Medallion Financial Ford had no grip and was sliding all over the racetrack. Shiplett continued to make adjustments to the car during the ensuing pit stops to help remedy the car’s handling issues, and after a routine pit stop under green on Lap 65, Allmendinger let his team know the No. 43 machine was driving better. At the halfway point of the race, Allmendinger had worked his way back up through the field and was running in the 23rd position.

As the laps wore on, Allmendinger began to fight more and more with the handling of the Medallion Financial Ford and couldn’t seem to get it to turn through the center of the corners. Shiplett instructed his Richard Petty Motorsports crew to make an array of chassis adjustments during the next several pit stops to help correct the condition. Trouble in the pits due to the rear air gun exploding during the seventh pit stop of the day, coupled with handling issues, caused Allmendinger to fall a lap down in the later stages of the 200-lap event.

Though Shiplett and crew worked to correct the handling issues during the final pit stops of the day, Allmendinger was unable to get his lap back and crossed the finish line in the 25th position when the checkered flag flew.

Allmendinger fell two positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings following the race in Pocono. He now holds down 18th place heading to Michigan International Speedway next weekend.

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