"What happened in the past, I'm a whole lot better for it," AJ Allmendinger said.
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.
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."
JTG Daugherty Racing