“The track repave has changed a lot and the place is about outright speed”
AJ Allmendinger is back behind the wheel of the No. 47 SCOTT Products Toyota this time for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway sporting 'Win My Car' on his hood. Scott brand and JTG Daugherty Racing announced recently they’re teaming up to offer one lucky person a one-of-a-kind ride of a lifetime with its ‘Win My Car’ Sweepstakes, part of the Scott Shared Values program.
Allmendinger’s performance at Kansas Speedway consists of two top-10 finishes, one pole award (4/21/12) and he has led 44 laps in seven starts. Allmendinger’s best finish at the 1.5-mile tri-oval is ninth-place (9/28/08). His average start is 17.286 and his average finish is 22.143.
Allmendinger scored the team's best finish (10th) of the season at Watkins Glen International.
Fast times: “The track repave has changed a lot and the place is about outright speed,” Allmendinger said. “There is a lot of grip on it. To get the setup close is crucial because you are in the throttle a lot there. Not getting to race there earlier this year, I’ll get to see how the track has changed now that it is a year old. It will still be very fast.”
Speeds higher than comfortable: “After resurfacing, Kansas Speedway is one of the faster tracks we go to on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “The speeds there are a little higher than comfortable.”
All about balance: “The car we are racing is a good car and that showed at Atlanta (Motor Speedway),” Allmendinger said. “It is all about getting the setup right at Kansas Speedway. We had a nice balance at Atlanta and this should be one of our better cars.”
Throwback: “We are really looking forward to Kansas Speedway and we are bringing the same car AJ raced at Atlanta Motor Speedway,” Burns said. “We feel like this is our best car to date. AJ really liked how the car handled at Atlanta. It was one of our best finishes for an intermediate track.”
Extra time on track: “The four hour test session on Thursday is very important to a single-car team like ours,” Burns said. “It gives us extra time that keeps us from remaining a step behind.”
Around town: “I do not have any big plans in Kansas, but I may go to Dave & Busters,” Allmendinger said. “It depends on who I am with on what I do when I am there. I will probably toss a basketball. I feel really good about my hoop skills in general. If the hoop was set at 6’ 5”, I probably could dominate, but I can’t jump.”
Writing a new chapter: "Our whole lives are about writing the next chapter until the end of it," Allmendinger said. "For me, it is a new chapter, but a completely different chapter. And for me, it is all about being a better person. The values that Tad and Jodi (Geschickter, team co-owners) as a family have and what values Brad (Daugherty, team co-owner) has and what the values are of this race team and how people react to that, that is what is just good to be around. It is great for me to be around because that is where I’m trying to get to.”
Building process: “There are a lot of good things about this team that we can build on," Allmendinger said. You have got to have realistic goals. When you go into next year, you have to start running top 20s and then top-15s and top-10s and slowly progress. The ultimate goal is to be first, but it is going to take time. It is a lot of fun to get there and everyone has the same goals and the same passions. That is what makes it most exciting.”
Country is cool: "We have a couple guys on the team that are going to see Blake Shelton in concert Thursday night," Burns said. "I think Tony Palmer and Brandon Lee are going and maybe a couple others. We work a lot of hours every week and on the weekend, so it is nice to see our crew be able to do things when we get to town. Whether it is a concert or playing golf, it is just good to find a balance being on the road so much.”
Go-karting before Kansas: “This week I have been practicing racing go-karts,” Allmendinger said. “I am still trying to get ready for the big race in Vegas after Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is really the best training you can have as a racer. It gets your reflexes on point. These things are so low to the ground and can get up to 110 mph. For how low you are, everything happens so quickly. So, your eyes and mind have to be quick. Physically, it is one of the hardest things to drive and last. It is really the best thing you can do involving your neck, arms and ribs to prepare you as a driver. It is good to lift weights and do cardio, but nothing simulates racing a car like karting.”
Having some down time: "When you are off, the off time is good and bad," Allmendinger said. "It gives me time to reset. During the NASCAR season, you do not have that if you race full-time. I would rather be in a car. When I do have time, I take care of daily things in life. It has given me a chance to train really hard and get back into form of setting goals for myself."
JTG Daugherty Racing