Monday, August 22, 2011

Michigan II Race Recap

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
■AJ Allmendinger started from the 29th spot at Michigan International Speedway
■Allmendinger wheeled his way to an 11th-place finishing position at the two-mile oval
■Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 15th 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 Michigan International Speedway in the 29th position and drove his way inside the top 25 by the time the first yellow flag of the day flew on Lap 30. Because his driver had been complaining of a tight handling car, Crew Chief Greg Erwin made plans for an air pressure adjustment on the first stop as well as four fresh tires and fuel.

Allmendinger lined up for the Lap 35 restart in the 22nd position. He communicated to Erwin throughout much of the race that the car felt like it didn’t have enough front or rear grip. Erwin made a myriad of changes during that time, but Allmendinger fought the handling of the car for much of the event.

An ill-timed caution flag at Lap 169 just after the Best Buy Racing crew had made a pit stop left them a lap down. The team opted for the wave around on the restart and was able to get solidly back on the lead lap when the caution flag flew once again with three laps remaining in the race. Erwin called his driver into the pits for four fresh tires, and when the green flag flew for the final time, Allmendinger lined up in 21st place, behind those cars that either opted to stay out on the track or pit for only two fresh tires.

Allmendinger showed his stuff in the remaining three laps, wheeling his Best Buy Ford Fusion through traffic like a man on a mission. Passing cars right and left, Allmendinger had picked up 10 spots by the time the checkered flag flew. He held down 11th place at the conclusion of the event.

Allmendinger picked up one position and now holds down the 15th spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings heading into next weekend’s event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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