Friday, June 28, 2013

Kentucky Race Preview


Track: Kentucky Speedway
Event: Quaker State 400
Date: Saturday, June 29
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Radio Coverage: PRN/Sirius XM


AJ Allmendinger returns to the No. 47 entry fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing for his second of five races with the team this season. He has two starts at Kentucky Speedway and one top-10 finish (ninth on 6/30/12). His best start is 16th (6/30/12). His average start is 19.500 and his average finish is 18.500.


AJ on winning first NASCAR race: "To be able to get my first win in NASCAR on Saturday is a relief in a way," said AJ Allmendinger, who won the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Road America. "I have finally won something in NASCAR and it's a relief, a joy with all emotions combined. I felt happy about the way I drove and I felt confident and just good all around. It gave me confidence and it was just fun to be at the track. Now, this week leads me to Kentucky Speedway with JTG Daugherty Racing. I'm excited to be at Kentucky because it is a fun, but challenging track that's bumpy and slick. One of the challenges of the track is that you really have to search around to get around it."

AJ's back in the saddle again: "It will be good to be back with JTG Daugherty Racing," AJ Allmendinger said. "The first weekend together at Michigan International Speedway was challenging in ways, but also good too. We had our hardships during practice and didn't start the race straight, but we ended the race well (19th). I really enjoyed working with guys and with Tad (Geschickter). They are a good group of people."

Building on a foundation: "To be able to go out there again with JTG Daugherty Racing, we can keep working on some stuff," AJ Allmendinger said. "Bobby Labonte and the guys tested at Kentucky Speedway not long ago. We're just trying to build on what we learned at Michigan International Speedway. For me this weekend, trying to give the best feedback is important. I'll give the team as much info about what I think whether it's good or bad and we will enjoy this weekend. Tad (Geschickter) is a great owner and I look forward to helping them."

From Michigan: "AJ has got a ton of talent," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "He's a really nice guy. It's not easy for him to do what we have asked him to do. He's done it with a lot of class. When he drove the car for us at Michigan International Speedway, he gave us a lot of good data from the high-speed, high-grip track."

To Kentucky: "Kentucky Speedway doesn't have as much grip," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "I think we will get a whole other set of data and assumptions to work on the car and help Bobby Labonte go faster when he gets back in the car. When were at Michigan International Speedway we had a couple mechanical issues. We also blew a hole in the tailpipe and broke some things. Our engine readings were not something we were used to. We also had a right-rear hub go bad in practice. We need more data before we go back to work on our Toyota Camrys."

Team's main goal: "The main thing is to get faster as a race team and be more competitive and that's what AJ (Allmendinger) promised he would help us with this year and the main thing for him is to get back to racing," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "I hope he continues his great success because he deserves it. "

AJ moving past the past: "What happened in the past, I'm a whole lot better for it," AJ Allmendinger said. "It's a chapter in my life that is over and I'm better for it in all areas of life. That chapter is closed. I've talked about it enough and I really don't want to talk about it anymore. With winning my first NASCAR race, everything has come full circle and the win opens a new chapter."

AJ's second chance: "He deserves a second chance," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "People deserve a second chance. He's done the right things. He's gone about it the right way. He wasn't anything, but absolutely in compliance with what he's been asked to do. He's trying to make it right. There are times in my life where I've made mistakes. All you can do is admit them, move forward and make them right."

Labonte thanks fans for the support: "First of all, I want to thank everyone for their support," Bobby Labonte said. "It obviously means the world to me as I have a passion for racing. We have great sponsors here at JTG Daugherty Racing and we have a great race team. There are a lot of committed people that work here. Our sponsors are what keep us funded and racing. Our owners juggle all of the balls in the air at all times. We don't question how our sponsors run their business."

Labonte on streak coming to an end: "I will not be racing this week," Bobby Labonte said. "It is disappointing the way it is happening. I have had a couple offers this morning, but I have declined them because I don't want anybody else that has an opportunity to do what I do - what they love - to have to sit on the sidelines for my sake."

Labonte tested at Kentucky Speedway for JTG Daugherty Racing: "I spent two days testing with our race team, trying different mapping and even a different type of engine," Bobby Labonte said. "That was the first test that we did since January and we had a great test. I feel like AJ Allmendinger is a heck of a driver and I also know that what I feel in a race car is right. We had a great test in Kentucky and I am disappointed that I am not going to Kentucky Speedway. But as you move forward, you need to support our race team. Even though I might not agree, it is still going to benefit us to keep moving forward in a positive way. You can express your opinions, but I would appreciate it if it was done in a positive manner."

The reality of being a single-car team:
"As part of a single-car team for the last year and a half, it is hard to compare some things like multi-car teams can do,' continued Labonte. "As I drive the race car, I know that taking lots of chances on restarts can be beneficial, but I don't want to take those risks and possibly jeopardize the car because we don't have the resources that many other teams do. If I tore up a lot of race cars it would not help us out any."
Credit - JTG Daugherty Racing

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Road America Race Recap

AJ ALLMENDINGER, No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang

AJ Allmendinger made a remarkable return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) in Saturday afternoon’s Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America by earning his first career series pole.

As the green flag flew, Allmendinger was able to put several car lengths between his Ford Mustang and the rest of the field. During the first pit stop of the race on Lap 15, the Discount Tire crew changed four tires, took two cans of fuel and made an air pressure adjustment. Allmendinger restarted in the 16th position which is the lowest position he saw of the race.

While working his way back through the field, Allmendinger reclaimed the lead on Lap 26 after a hard fought battle with the No. 54 of Owen Kelly.

With fuel mileage on the mind of crew chief, Jeremy Bullins took every opportunity to remind Allmendinger to save fuel during cautions. After a quick yellow on Lap 41 for debris on the racing surface, Allmendinger brought the field down to the green flag but was quickly shuffled back to the fourth position after making contact with the No. 16 of Billy Johnson.

Reclaiming the lead on Lap 44, Allmendinger defending that position from an eager Justin Allgaier during the closing laps of the race.

During both attempts at a Green-White-Checkered finish, Allmendinger was able to maintain the lead and claim his first NASCAR Series victory at Road America. He led for a total of 29 Laps throughout the event.

The victory advances the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang team to second in the Nationwide Series Owner Championship Standings.


“What Roger (Penske) has done for me is an understatement. What everyone has done for me at Penske Racing by giving me another chance to not only drive in the IndyCar Series but also this Discount Tire Ford is amazing. Discount Tire has a great choice of drivers to pilot this car and them giving me the opportunity to get behind the wheel and have some fun and ultimately win this race is unbelievable. I have the thank all the sponsors at Penske Racing and Team Penske, my Crew Chief Jeremy (Bullins) and everyone on the team. This Ford Mustang was just phenomenal and I was starting to get frustrated with all the Green-White-Checkers there at the end. The Discount Tire Ford was just so fast that I knew if I could get out and get clear we would have a great day. I made a mistake earlier in the race which actually worked in my advantage because it allowed me to see where I was over driving a bit. This car was a rocket ship and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the race.”
Credit - Penske Racing

Road America Qualifying Results

AJ Allmendinger and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang team qualified on pole for Saturday afternoon’s Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America.

Allmendinger finessed his Penske Ford around the 4.04-mile 14 Turn road course in 133.410 seconds at 109.233 miles per hour during the Saturday morning qualifying session. Sam Hornish Jr. will start from the eighth position in the No. 12 Snap-on Ford Mustang.

“I have to thank Roger Penske and all the people at Penske Racing,” said Allmendinger. “They have stuck with me and given me everything I need to go out there and do what I love to do. Our Discount Tire Ford was fast in practice yesterday, and I knew if I could put together a steady lap we would have a great shot at the pole and it worked out. We know what we need to do to finish up front, and that is what we plan on doing.”

Credit - Penske Racing

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Road America Race Preview

Driver: AJ Allmendinger
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-235 Last Raced: Bristol (finished 5th)
Backup Chassis: PRS-223 Last Raced: Bristol backup

• Welcome Back: AJ Allmendinger is returning to the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) this weekend after a five-year hiatus. His last start and his best finish (a 12th-place) came in Phoenix of 2008 while driving for Gillett-Evernham Motorsports. Between 2007 and 2008, Allmendinger made a total of eight NNS starts.

• Familiar with Victory Lane: Having two previous starts under his belt at Road America, Allmendinger made a trip to Victory Lane in 2006 in the CART Series. He also made a visit to the facility in the same series in 2004 where he finished 13th. His victory in 2006 marked his last win in an open-wheel series.

• Road Course Connoisseur: Over the last seven years, Allmendinger has competed in nine road course events on the NASCAR circuit. Out of those nine starts, he has completed over 900 miles as well as recorded eight top-15 finishes.

• Back behind the wheel: Allmendinger rejoins Penske Racing for two of the three Road Course events on the NNS schedule for the 2013 season. Competing in five IZOD IndyCar Series events for Team Penske earlier in the in the year, Allmendinger was credited with a fifth-place finish in his first Indianapolis 500.


"I am very excited to be back behind the wheel of a NNS car and for none other than Roger Penske. It's been a few years since I've been in the series and I'm eager to return as the field of competition is the best it's ever been. Jeremy Bullins (crew chief) and the guys back in the shop have built an awesome Discount Tire Ford. I was fortunate enough to join the team in VIR (Virginia International Raceway) a few weeks ago for a test and log some laps in a Nationwide car, which was great experience as they handle differently than a Sprint Cup car."

"Road America has always been a good track for me. It is the most challenging of the natural road courses that I've ever experienced, yet still so much fun to drive. Getting my last victory in an open wheel car here means a lot to me and I'm ready to come back. I am hoping we can create the same magic that I had here then and bring home a win for Penske Racing and Discount Tire."

Credit - Penske Racing