Event: Las Vegas
Allmendinger on Las Vegas Motor Speedway: "Vegas is a really strange place for me; I've always seemed to struggle there. When the track is cool it's got a ton of grip and it's really fast. When it's cool, it's one of the fastest 1.5-mile tracks that we go to. If the track gets hot like it did last year, it's hard to drive on because it gets very slick. You have to have your car really balanced and you've got to have a lot of grip in it. Vegas only has about a groove and a half to race on, so it's definitely a tough place. Mike Shiplett and I, and this whole Best Buy race team have circled this weekend on our calendars and said if we can go to Vegas and be solid all weekend and have a decent finish, we can be really strong throughout the year. It's been my Achilles heel for a long time, so I'm looking forward to it, but at the same time I'm a little bit nervous."
Allmendinger's Thoughts on the Season: "This is exactly what our team needed to start the year. You always want a little bit more and you always think you can get a little bit more, but all in all I'm happy with our 11th and ninth place finishes at Daytona and Phoenix. I'm glad we're going into Vegas tied for third in the points, because it's not the best race track for us, so to have two good finishes under our belts should give us plenty of momentum heading into this weekend."
Allmendinger's West Coast Plans: "I'm going to stay out west this week and my wife and I are going to do some sightseeing before Vegas. We're going to visit the Grand Canyon with our dog and just enjoy some time off. We'll get to Vegas a few days early and have a little fun until Friday rolls around and then I'll be ready to get my Best Buy Ford on the track and go racing."
Crew Chief Mike Shiplett's Keys to Getting Around Las Vegas Motor Speedway: "Vegas is a very fast 1.5-mile track. You can get loose going into the turns, so we're going to focus on finding the balance between being loose in and tight in the middle of the corners. Then there are the bumps going into Turns 1 and 2 to deal with. We'll have to make sure the No. 43 Best Buy Ford's shocks and springs are right for that situation and make sure the handling on the car is where AJ needs it to be."
Chassis History: The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team has prepared chassis No. 736 for this weekend's event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This Best Buy Ford is a new car and has never been tested.
Notes: Allmendinger has two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and has completed 546 of 552 laps at the 1.5-mile oval. Allmendinger enters Vegas tied for third place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings after an 11th- place finish at Daytona and a ninth-place finish at Phoenix.
Allmendinger's No. 43 Ford Fusion will return to its blue and yellow colors as Best Buy will be the primary partner this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The last time the No. 43 car was ranked this high (tied for third) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings was after the race at Martinsville Speedway on April 26, 1987. Richard Petty was the driver.