No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
* AJ Allmendinger started in the 18th position for the 500-lap event at Bristol Motor Speedway
* Allmendinger, finished in the race in the 12th position at the .533-mile concrete oval
* Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 14th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger lined up in the 18th position for the start of the 266.5-mile event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Picking up several spots in the early laps of the race, Allmendinger relayed to Crew Chief Greg Erwin the Best Buy Ford was handling to his liking.
Running in the 15th position when the first caution flag of the 500-lap event flew on Lap 33, Erwin called Allmendinger into the pits for right side tires and fuel. The two tire call by the crew allowed Allmendinger to pick up a couple spots on pit road and Allmendinger restarted in the 13th position.
The No. 43 Ford quickly jumped up to 11th place in just three laps, but shortly after, Allmendinger communicated to Erwin that the two tire call upset the handling of the Best Buy machine and the car was loose. The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford slipped back to the 16th spot before a Lap 105 caution allowed Erwin to again call Allmendinger into the pits, this time for four tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments.
Restarting in the 17th position, Allmendinger communicated to the crew that the changes made on the previous pit stop seemed to help the car’s handling issues. Running lap times as fast as the leader, Allmendinger began picking off cars one-by-one and had raced his way to 12th by Lap 235.
As the laps wore on, Allmendinger began to fight a tight handling car and the Best Buy crew made an array of chassis adjustments during the ensuing pit stops to try and correct the tight condition.
Though the Best Buy machine wasn’t exactly to Allmendinger’s liking, he was still able to run fast and consistent lap times and remain in or near the top 10 for the majority of the night. When the checkered flag flew at the half-mile oval, Allmendinger crossed the finish line in the 12th position.
The solid run at Bristol moved Allmendinger up one position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings, and he heads into the 25th race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the 14th spot.
Allmendinger’s Thoughts After the Race: “Off of past results this was an awesome night. With like 200 to go we were running sixth or seventh and we were just kind of going back and forth between being too loose and too tight and we got it too tight the rest of the night. Everybody just runs the top and especially when you are tight you can’t do anything. I feel like 12th place, I am pleased with it, not thrilled but pleased with it.”
Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR