Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All-Star Notes of Interest

--AJ Allmendinger and his Todd Gordon-led Penske Racing No. 22 Team will be racing their PRS-815” Pennzoil Dodge Charger this weekend at Charlotte. In its only time out, Dinger put it on the outside pole and finished 17th in the March Bristol race. In that race, Dinger led 54 laps in the early going and showed potential winning strength before a suspension part failed. The “PRS-814” chassis will serve as the backup. It is a new Dodge Charger and has yet to make it onto a race track.

--Pennzoil Dodge Charger driver AJ Allmendinger has raced in five prior editions of the Sprint Showdown, taking the win in the 2008 race and advancing on to the Sprint All-Star Race. In his five prior Showdowns, Dinger has one win, two top-five finishes and four top-10s. He started 22nd and finished 17th in the 2008 All-Star Race. He started second and finished fourth in last year’s Showdown. Dinger has a 6.4 average start and an 8.8 average finish in the Showdown. Most impressive is that he has finished every possible lap (300/300) in his Showdown and All Star races.

--With five prior appearances in the Sprint Showdown, it’s a “been there & done that” scenario for Pennzoil Dodge driver AJ Allmendinger. “This year is no different than the years before,” said Allmendinger. “I’ve won the Showdown before and we can win it again. We’ve had fast cars all year long; we just haven’t had the luck we’ve needed. We’re bound to change the luck soon and maybe it’ll come when there are no points on the line. We’ll definitely have a good shot to win the thing and advance; I do not doubt that at all. We know how to race these 40 laps and how it can play out. It’s all about being at the right place at the right time. Qualifying is huge and figuring out what to do after the first 20-lap segment is the big thing in having a shot to win it.”

--Pennzoil Dodge crew chief Todd Gordon is optimistic entering this Saturday night’s special non-points race. “It’s going to be a lot of fun without the stress of having the points on the line,” said Gordon. “I’m very optimistic about our chances and I think we can run very well there. I really like the two-20-lap-segment race format. It’ll be really interesting to see how it goes. Through the season, we have shown so much strength in the short runs. Even though it wouldn’t help us in points, to win there on Saturday night would be great for our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team. It would be huge for our confidence level – for AJ, for me and for the entire No. 22 Penske team. Success of that type would be something great to build off of and a stepping stone for the future, I believe.”

--Pennzoil Dodge crew chief Todd Gordon sizes up the competition for Saturday night’s Sprint Showdown: “Just looking over the entry list, you probably have to look at the 56 team (Martin Truex Jr.) as being the strongest, especially coming off last weekend. The 88 team (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) has been running well and is really consistent. I think we’re up there next as far as the overall strength we’ve shown. We’ve been stronger than the 20 (Joey Logano), the 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) and the 1 (Jamie McMurray) every week, but just don’t have the finishes to show it. Our biggest problem is that we probably deserve the runner-up award for the worst luck during the 2012 season. Seriously, if there’s such an award, the 24 team (Jeff Gordon) definitely deserves it, but we have to be the runner-up team.”

--AJ Allmendinger and his Todd Gordon-led No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge Team are at Road Atlanta today testing their “PRS-811” Dodge Charger in preparation for the June 24 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. The team also has a test scheduled on May 29 in their preparation for racing on the road courses this year.

--Pennzoil Dodge driver AJ Allmendinger will be making his first appearance in the annual Pennzoil Burnout Challenge Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 5th annual event is set to begin at approximately 6:10 p.m. on the frontstretch of CMS. Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano complete the five-driver lineup for Saturday’s competition. The competition will see each driver take turns at the wheel of similarly prepared cars from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, each wrapped with the Pennzoil Burnout Challenge theme. The drivers begin from Turn 4 of the quarter-mile track and have 30 seconds to conduct a freestyle burnout. After 30 seconds, the “emergency cutoff switch” will be activated. The drivers will be judged on creativity and the fan reaction. The winner of the competition will be highlighted on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s world’s largest HD Video Screen. Each competitor will receive a $1,000 donation to their charity just for participating. The winning driver will be awarded $10,000 to their designated charity. Allmendinger will be competing for “Dinger’s Dream Team” and the “Paralyzed Veterans of America.”

Credit - Penske Racing PR

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