Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bristol Race Preview


Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Event: Food City 500
Date: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Coverage Begins/Race Start: 12:30 PM / 1 PM Eastern


A different look: "Keeping with the grilling theme, we have BUSH'S Grillin' Beans front and center on our No. 47 Chevrolet SS at Bristol Motor Speedway," AJ Allmendinger said. "I like nothing better than to get together with family and friends, hang out and grill out. We grill some chicken and I have the hookup to bring some BUSH'S Grillin’ Beans.

My family means a lot to me," continued Allmendinger. "I am an only child and when I was growing up, my parents were at every race. In fact, they mortgaged their house three times so I could do what I wanted to do. That’s why I’m proud to have the BUSH'S name on the No. 47 car. As a family owned company, they understand how important family really is."

Reflecting first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start: “Bristol will always be a little bit special to me because it is the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race I made,” Allmendinger said. “I enjoy it, but like I have said before it is just a tough place. You fight for 500 laps around there. You can do everything right and still have something go wrong. It’s tough, but enjoyable. I did the first race there last year and had a decent run. Hopefully, we can keep building and learning going into that race and start off pretty good and have a good weekend.”

Feast or famine: “I just enjoy it - - it’s Bristol (Motor Speedway),” Allmendinger said. “You walk into it and every time you walk down the banking and look down into the coliseum you think ‘This is an amazing place.’ At the same time, for a driver it’s a tough place. I have had some decent runs at Bristol and I have had some runs there that kicked my butt.”

Developing a baseline: “Having an alliance helps when you have someone test there (Bristol Motor Speedway),” Allmendinger said. “Obviously, you would like to be the person to test every track. I think it is just about getting a baseline of where we are in general and that’s what these first six to seven races are. It will be good. Hopefully, we have some momentum going into Bristol. We are definitely making the cars faster each weekend. We have a long way to go too.”

Learning step-by-step:  “I will be the first one to say I’m not the best at taking things step-by-step,” Allmendinger said. “I do know that we are getting better and we are learning. We are right there with the RCR (Richard Childress Racing) cars. We did not get the finish we wanted at Phoenix International Raceway, but we had one of the best speeds out of all the cars. And, we were right there this past weekend at Vegas (Las Vegas Motor Speedway). We’ll see what we’ve got this weekend at Bristol.” 

Got speed:  “We will rule Daytona out because it is a different race, but the last two weeks we have had speed in the car, which is positive for sure,” JTG Daugherty Racing competition director Bobby Hutchens said. “We have not capitalized on it yet. We feel like we had an eighth to 12th place car at Phoenix International Raceway a couple weeks ago and had an unfortunate thing happen in the pits with the clutch. At the end of the day, I think our raw speed is quite better this year compared to last. We just have to figure out how to put a car under AJ that will stay with him and also not make the small mistakes we have made on the mechanical side.”

Climbing the charts:  “I was talking to the guys yesterday,” Hutchens said. “In the years I’ve been here, we have not traditionally been at the top of the board. We were seventh on the test day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and then on practice Friday we ended up ninth and then we backed it up by qualifying and finishing 18th. I think those are all positives things we can take moving forward into Bristol Motor Speedway. At the end of the day, I think we have improved in a lot of areas. We have still got a lot of room to work.”

Maximizing positives: “We have not done any testing for Bristol Motor Speedway, but one of our alliance partners went there and tested,” Hutchens said. “They felt like they had a really good test. All of us will be feeding off of that data. That is something we did not have last year. We are growing accustomed to looking at the data and understanding the differences between the drivers, crew chiefs and engineers and how things are set up and done. We are sifting through all of that and so far our guys have done a good job. They started working on some of that last week to get us ready for Bristol. Hopefully, by utilizing the alliance program we will be able to unload a lot closer than what we have in the past. We did not have the luxury of having a teammate or anybody to talk to before. I feel like that is going to be a pretty big positive for us when we start practice on Friday at Bristol.”

East bound and down: “From Las Vegas to Harrisburg, N.C., it is about 2,200 miles,” said JTG Daugherty Racing transport driver Paul Icenhour. “I arrived at the race shop this morning. We have a second driver for the transporter so we drove straight through without stopping. I will be able to spend a little time at my house sometime today and then come into the shop on Wednesday to get everything turned around to head back out this time for Bristol, Tennessee. Hopefully, we will be loaded up that day and I can leave early Thursday morning to park haulers at 7:30 p.m at Bristol Motor Speedway.”


AJ Allmendinger's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start occurred at Bristol Motor Speedway (3/25/07) and he has a total of 11 starts there. Allmendinger’s best finish at Bristol is 12th (8/27/11). His average start is 22.636 and his average finish is 25.727. He has led 54 laps.

Career Starts: 194
Top-fives:     5
Top-10s:      30
Pole Awards: 2
First Start:  3/25/2007  Bristol
First Pole:   4/10/2010  Phoenix
Last Pole:    4/22/2012  Kansas
Best Start:  1 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Best Finish: 2 4/1/2012  Martinsville
Driver DOB:  12/16/1981       
Hometown:   San Jose, Calif.
Crew Chief:   Brian Burns


Fire up your grill, and your taste buds, with our Hot & Spicy Pork Chops. Seasoned with a rub of brown sugar and cayenne pepper, they pair perfectly with BUSH’S® Southern Pit Barbecue Grillin’ Beans®.


Enter NOW for a chance to ride along with AJ Allmendinger during a race this season!

Throughout the season our JTG Daugherty Racing "#47 FAN OF THE WEEK" will have their photo featured on AJ's car.

Each week we post the "#47 FAN OF THE WEEK" theme, with instructions on how you can enter. The best fan photo submitted to us VIA the JTG Daugherty Racing Facebook page will be chosen the following Monday and will be featured on the #47 car the following weekend.

Last week we we challenged race fans to "GO BOLD OR GO HOME" and that we wanted to see them "FAN UP" by sharing a shot of themselves enjoying BUSH’S® Grillin’ Beans® for a chance to be our Fan of the Week—and to have their photo ride with AJ Allmendinger at the race in Bristol this week... We are happy to announce that Matt and Jake Brennick were chosen as our #47FansOfTheWeek and will have their photo featured on AJ Allmendinger's car at the big race in Bristol this weekend. We think that is a pretty great present for Jake, who turns five years old on Friday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!

This week we are asking for a little help from NASCAR fans, we are on the lookout for a new "spotter"... Our regular spotter, David Green is normally stationed high above the race track, guiding AJ Allmendinger through the field as he races his way towards the front. Since David is so busy spotting for AJ and having to keep track of the #47 car racing around the track at 200 mph, we thought it would be a good idea to add a second spotter to the team. The person we are looking for will have to have great vision and foresight, trying to spot our sponsor's logos should be pretty easy since they are such easily recognizable brands that every NASCAR fan probably shops for every week! This may be the easiest job you could ever apply for!

We have put together a quick list of the requirements and if you think you have what it takes to be our new "spotter" this week just click this link and submit your qualifications:

The person that best meets our requirements will be crowned as next week's #47FanOfTheWeek!




Friday March 14th
6:30 - 7:30pm
Food City Hospitality Tent
Bristol Motor Speedway


Credit - Info & photos courtesy of JTG Daugherty Racing

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