Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver AJ Allmendinger will start Saturday’s Capital City 400 from the fourth position after turning in a lap of 21.100 seconds (127.962 mph) in today’s qualifying session. Dinger, who won the pole last week at Kansas, is hoping that his hot streak in qualifying can lead to better results in Saturday night’s race here at Richmond International Raceway.
“Anything you can keep working on…it is better,” offered Dinger, seventh fastest in the opening practice and 39th in the afternoon’s qualifying order. “You know, we’ve had fast race cars; we just keep having bad luck. We keep working on it and we’ll get there. I feel like Todd (Gordon, crew chief) and I, we’ve just got to keep working together and this race team has got to keep getting better. We’re not where we want to be yet but we keep showing that we’ve got fast cars so if we can just keep doing that we’ll be okay.
“I’d say at times we have the speed to be a race-winning car,” Dinger added. “We’re just not doing it consistently and then on top of it you’ve got the bad luck. The problem is I’m kind of negative when I look at the points. I see 23rd and that’s what I see, a 23rd-place team. I know we’re better than that but you’ve got to have solid races without any trouble and hopefully that starts here tomorrow night.”
Mark Martin, fastest in the early practice, was the final driver to make his run against the clock. He was able to knock Carl Edwards off the Coors Light Pole by turning in a lap that was a mere six-thousandths of a second faster. Martin clocked in with a lap of 21.040 seconds (128.327 mph) and bettered Edwards’ 21.046-second (128.290 mph) lap.
Kevin Harvick claimed the third starting spot with a lap of 21.087 seconds (128.041 mph) and Kyle Busch (lap of 21.101 seconds/127.956 mph) rounded out the top-five qualifiers. Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the top-10 speedsters. Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski starts the Miller Lite Dodge 16th here on Saturday night after turning in a lap of 21.261 seconds (126.993 mph).
Saturday’s Capital City 400 (400 laps, 300 miles) here on the .750-mile Richmond International Raceway has a 7:30 p.m. EDT starting time. The race features live coverage by FOX-TV and MRN Radio (also on Sirius-XM NASCAR Channel 90 and streaming live at www.motorracingnetwork.com.
Credit - Penske Racing PR