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 ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WINNING TODAY?
“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