Thursday, July 28, 2011

Indianapolis Race Preview

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
• Allmendinger has made three starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
• 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 quad-oval came in 2008

AJ Allmendinger on Indianapolis Motor Speedway: “Indy has so much tradition associated with it. I would say it’s our second biggest race of the year. It’s been a place where I feel like I’m average. I have run fairly strong there at times, but overall I've just had average finishes. I got the first top-10 finish of my career in Indy, so that will always be pretty special. I think this year with all of the horsepower Ford has been putting out the Best Buy Ford should be pretty good. It’s a place where track position has always been key. If you can get inside the top-five, you can maintain track position whether you have a great car or not.”

Crew Chief Greg Erwin’s Thoughts on Indy: “I’m looking forward to working with AJ and the whole Best Buy team this weekend in my new role as crew chief. It will be important in Indy to maximize the front grip potential of the racetrack. It’s one of the tighter tracks that we go to with corner entry speeds being as fast as they are and the track being as flat as it is. It's really hard to get the car to continue to turn after the driver lets off of the brakes because the front end unloads. We will work on keeping the Best Buy Ford’s front end low. It’s a fast smooth race track so we will work on splitter height as well so we can optimize the downforce package that goes with the car. There will be a lot of single file racing and the opportunity to pass is few and far between, so qualifying well and making sure we have good track position will be important.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 752 for this weekend’s event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This Best Buy Ford Fusion has been run previously this season at Texas and Charlotte.

Notes: Allmendinger’s best finishing position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (10th) came in 2008. Allmendinger gained two positions in the points after his 12th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and enters this weekend in 16th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. Allmendinger has completed 100 percent of laps attempted (480) at the 2.5-mile speedway.

This weekend will be Greg Erwin’s first race as the new crew chief of the No. 43 Best Buy Ford driven by Allmendinger. Prior to joining Richard Petty Motorsports, Erwin held the crew chief position with the No. 16 team at Roush Fenway Racing. Erwin joined that team in May 2007 and during his tenure at RFR, led Biffle to five victories, 36 top-five and 66 top-10 finishes. Erwin’s team made the Chase for the Championship three times, finishing as high as third in the year end point standings.

The No. 43 Hauler will be making a stop at Best Buy’s Geek Squad City (345 International Boulevard, Brooks, KY 40109) Thursday morning from 8– 9:30 a.m.

Can’t get enough of the Dinger? AJ will be signing autographs at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday from 12-12:45 p.m. in the Pavilion.

Don’t miss out on your chance to meet Allmendinger as he will be appearing at the Best Buy store in Avon, Ind. (10346 East US Highway 36, Avon, Ind., 46123). The appearance is scheduled for Thursday, July 28, from 6-8 p.m. ET and is open to the public.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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