'Like a souped-up Bristol Motor Speedway'
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger can't wait to get to Delaware for this weekend's race. “Dover International Speedway is one of my all-time favorite tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit,” Allmendinger said. “It always has been since I came into the sport. It is just an awesome fun place to drive. I always have said that it’s like a souped-up Bristol Motor Speedway. I mean man it feels like you are going 240 mph there because it just feels so fast. When we would qualify, it felt like you would get in the throttle and you didn’t know if you were going to come out on the other side. It is just that fast and aggressive. It’s a track that really suits my driving style. I enjoy it so much. It will be interesting to see how everything goes this weekend and how the cars work around the track especially with the new rules we have this year."
He has unfinished business there. “Dover is a place where I feel like a couple got away because I would be leading or going for the lead and something happened,” Allmendinger said. “Overall, the best chances for me to win in Cup has been at Dover. I had a good two to three year span where we unloaded on the front row and the car was so dialed in. Hopefully, we can have a chance to get our magic back and run well in our No. 47 SCOTT® Products Chevrolet SS.”
As for future plans, "We don’t look at The Chase at all right now," Allmendinger said. "Of course, it’s our ultimate goal. We want to make The Chase. We want to win races. Are we getting to the point of where I think if we nail everything perfect, can we have a shot to win a race? Yeah, I think so, but are we there every weekend? We are not yet and you can take last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway as an example. We've got some work to do on our mile-and-a-half program. I’ll start looking at The Chase about race 19 or 20 if we are in position to have a shot at it. It’s just about maximizing every weekend and everyone is working so hard to do a good job at it."
He's ready too to get last week's race behind him. "Charlotte Motor Speedway was a tough one for us, but we will bounce back at Dover," Allmendinger said. "Looking back, we've had some good runs and we've had some tough ones. Like Kansas Speedway, I was mad at myself there because I cost us some spots. Another example is that we had a bad race at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this season because we had a clutch problem and didn’t maximize it. We are at a point where if we have a top-20 we can walk out of the track and say okay. If it is a top-15, we are decently happy. If it is a top-10, we are happy and anything better than that we feel better about ourselves."
Regardless, he knows that win or lose, the team is still the team. "The thing I love most about this team is that we all pick each other up and we move on to the next weekend," Allmendinger said. "I enjoy this a lot more than any time before. I feel like we are such a small group and everybody has such a big hand in making this team strong. It starts with our ownership – with Tad and Jodi Geschickter and Brad Daugherty - because they make us feel like one big family. We have growing pains together. We have ups and downs together. If we are all on the same page and our ultimate goal is to go out there and win, we can do this together. There’s not just one person in it for themselves and trying to do what they need to do to make themselves look better. That’s why it's more fun right now because we are doing a lot with a little. We have a long way to go to get to where we want to be. Everybody is in it together and it makes it fun to walk in the hauler whether we have a good weekend or bad one. I love these guys."
JTG Daugherty Racing