Thursday, August 18, 2011

Michigan II Race Preview

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
• Allmendinger has made eight starts at Michigan International Speedway
• Allmendinger enters the race in 16th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger’s best finish (11th) at the two-mile track came during the spring race in 2010

AJ Allmendinger on Michigan: “We’re excited to be headed to Michigan for the second time. Our Best Buy Ford was decent there when we were there a couple of months ago and I know that Greg Erwin has a lot of really good ideas on how to improve our performance there. It’s a great track to race on. It's big, fast and has a wide racing groove. We’ve got the horsepower we’ll need from our FR9 engine, but we’ll have to work around the fuel mileage part of it some. I’m looking forward to getting back there. Greg has brought a lot to this team in the short time he’s been here and I think we could really have a good weekend in our Best Buy Ford.”

Crew Chief Greg Erwin’s Keys to Getting Around Michigan: “The key to Michigan is not to get too caught up in what you did there a couple of months ago because that track tends to have a little different characteristic later in the summer than it did earlier in the year. You spend a lot of time trying to make the front end turn, while working to keep the rear tires on it. It’s a pretty aggressive, fairly abusive place on tires and you see a lot of tire fall off. We’re looking forward to getting back to a more standardized racetrack. If you exclude Indy and Pocono, this is a place a little more conventional that we run at. Looking at how well AJ was able to run there a couple of months ago, that has certainly helped his confidence some and he knows he can run in the top five or top six there and that’s what we need to shoot for. That track always seems to give you a little different flavor in the fall than it does in the earlier part of the summer.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 742 for this weekend’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. This Best Buy Ford Fusion has been run previously this season on several occasions, including the races in Kentucky, Charlotte, N.C. and Fontana, Calif.

Notes: Allmendinger finished 13th in the June race on the two-mile, Brooklyn, Mich. oval.

The Sprint Summer Showdown has begun and $3 million is on the line for drivers, their charities and one lucky fan in a six-race competition. Any driver who wins between Indy and Bristol (the first five races) will become a finalist for the Labor Day weekend race in Atlanta (the sixth race). If one of those eligible drivers wins the Atlanta race, then the driver, the driver’s charity and one lucky race fan each collect $1,000,000. Allmendinger has selected Paralyzed Veterans of America as his charity of choice for the Sprint Summer Showdown.

Happy Birthday to Dale Inman, who celebrates his 66th birthday on Friday, August 19th. Inman was selected to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2012 and has eight championships in NASCAR’s premiere series serving as a crew chief.

Thanks to finishing last week’s race on the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International ahead of the No. 48 team, the No. 43 team has moved onto the third round of the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout Challenge and sits inside the Elite Eight. Allmendinger’s Best Buy Racing team will go up against the No. 17 team this weekend in an effort to make it to the final round. The driver winning the DIRECTV Head-2-Head Knockout competition will earn $400,000 for his or her charity of choice. Allmendinger’s charity of choice for this competition is Paralyzed Veterans of America. He will be carrying an on board camera this weekend and will be featured in the DIRECTV HOTPASS lineup.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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