Monday, July 18, 2011

Loudon Race Recap

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
 • AJ Allmendinger started from the 17th spot at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
• Allmendinger wheeled his way to a 12th-place finishing position at the one-mile track
• Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 16th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings

Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger lined up for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the 17th position. He quickly made his way toward the front of the field and was running in the eighth position by Lap 26. Relaying to Crew Chief Mike Shiplett that the Best Buy Ford was to his liking, Shiplett called for four tires and fuel only during the first pit stop of the day at Lap 31.

Several cars elected to take only two tires during the Lap 31 caution period, resulting in a 23rd place restarting position. Allmendinger again made his way toward the front of the field in a hurry and was running in the 11th position when the second caution flag of the day flew on Lap 61. An incident on pit road with the No. 71 caused right front fender damage to the No. 43 Ford Fusion. He was forced back to pit road a second time during the yellow flag period to fix the damage to the fender.

Restarting in the 33rd position, Allmendinger struggled for the remainder of the event with the handling of his Best Buy machine after the damage sustained to the car on pit road. Fighting a tight race car, Shiplett and crew made a variety of adjustments throughout the day. With just over 100 laps to go in the 301-lap event, Allmendinger communicated to the Best Buy crew that his car was handling better and he was beginning to move through the field, methodically passing cars one by one.

Shiplett had pit strategy planned for the end of the race, electing to stay out and save fuel during the last few caution periods of the event. Allmendinger made his last stop on Lap 225 for gas only. The call paid off for the Richard Petty Motorsports crew and Allmendinger was able to hold on until the end, finishing in the12th position as several of the leaders ran out of fuel just before the checkered flag flew.

Allmendinger’s 12th-place finish moves him up two positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings and he now sits in 16th place heading into the 20th race of the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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