Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chicago Race Recap

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
  • AJ Allmendinger started in the 18th position for the 267-lap event at Chicagoland Speedway
  • Allmendinger, finished in the race in the 27th position at the 1.5-mile speedway
  • Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 14th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings

Race Summary: After rain showers moved over the track all day and evening Sunday, NASCAR officials were forced to postpone the Sprint Cup Series Race at Chicagoland Speedway until Monday afternoon. AJ Allmendinger lined up in the 18th position for the start of the 400.5-mile event but fought a tight car in the early laps of the race.

After running several laps, Allmendinger communicated to Crew Chief Greg Erwin that the Best Buy Ford felt like it was lacking speed. A competition caution on Lap 30 allowed Erwin to call the No. 43 into the pits for a track bar and air pressure adjustment and four fresh tires and fuel in an effort to help remedy the handling issues.

Restarting in the 21st position, Allmendinger quickly relayed to Erwin and crew that the changes made during the previous pit stop had not helped the handling of the Best Buy machine and the car was still very tight. Continuing to fight an ill handling race car, Allmendinger fell a lap down in the early stages of the 267-lap event and worked hard to get himself in the “Lucky Dog” position for the remainder of the race.

A tight condition plagued the Best Buy Ford for the majority of the day, but Erwin and the No. 43 crew refused to give up and made air pressure, track bar and wedge adjustments during the ensuing pit stops. By the halfway mark of the race, Allmendinger told the crew his car was turning better in the corners, but he was running in the 24th position still a lap behind the leaders.

With just 55 laps remaining, Erwin called the No. 43 machine down pit road one last time for two right side tires and fuel. Restarting in the 26th position, Allmendinger let his crew know the car was getting better, but the effort came too late and Allmendinger was unable to gain any ground on the field.

As the laps wore on, Allmendinger continued to fight to put himself in position to get his lap back, but the cautions never fell at the right time and the Best Buy Ford held down the 27th position at as the checkered flag flew at Chicagoland.

Allmendinger slipped one position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and sits in 14th place heading into next Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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