AJ Allmendinger’s weekend in
started early as the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams came to town for testing on Wednesday and Thursday prior to the official race
event. Driving for the Phoenix Racing team in the #51 Chevrolet, AJ started off
quick by posting 13th and 15th on the board in the two
test sessions. Kansas
The #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy continued to be fast as the race weekend officially started with a 9th place run in the 1st practice followed by a qualifying effort of 13th. Saturday was a continuation of the strong runs with a 9th place and 14th place in the two practice sessions.
With AJ being in the top 15 in every practice and test session at
expectations were high for Sunday’s race. And AJ delivered as he started 13th
and did nothing but march forward throughout the early laps of the race. By lap
40 AJ had cracked the top 10, and just 7 laps later he was up to 5th position.
He then slid back to 6th place and settled in that spot for 20 more laps
before a blown right front tire ended his race. Kansas
After being released from the care center AJ talked to the media about the wreck and what it has been like driving for James Finch and Phoenix Racing.
AJ Allmendinger, No. 51
YOU SAID YOU FELT IT COMING, WHAT HAPPENED?
“It was getting tight the last couple of laps, but I just thought that was how the race track was going. I had that for the first run. Then I went in turn one, and felt it get really tight. I actually radioed in and said ‘I’m pitting this lap’. I tried to checkup down the back straightaway and try to save it and make sure it didn’t blow. Unfortunately it did. I just feel bad for everybody at Phoenix Racing. James Finch; Hendrick horsepower. The car was really fast. We were running so well. I thought we could have an easy top-10, if not a top-five. Just so disappointed. These guys work so hard. This small group of guys, they’ve been through so much this year. They work their butts off. I really enjoyed it. I hope I’m in the car next week. I don’t know, but if not, James Finch, everybody at Chevy, Hendrick giving me this opportunity. It has meant the world to get back in this sport. I love this sport, and I hope I’m back next week. But if not, I thank James, Steve Barkdoll and everybody for what they’ve done.”