AJ Allmendinger scored JTG Daugherty Racing's best finish of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season when he crossed the finish line in 10th-place at Watkins Glen International.
It was a bittersweet day and maybe the one that got away. As Allmendinger was planted firmly in the top three with the leader in sight, he ran out of fuel coming around for his routine pit stop at lap 58.
JTG DAUGHERTY RACING QUOTES: "I thought for sure we were easily a top four car," AJ Allmendinger said. "It was not as good as I wanted it and we were fighting with it being tight overall, but I felt like it would come to me on long runs.
I do not know if we would have had anything for the No. 9 (Marcos Ambrose), but I thought we were as good as the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and 56 (Martin Truex Jr.). We obviously had passed the No. 56 on the long run.
"I don't know if it was a miscalculation on fuel or if we just got a bad reading compared to the first run with lap times being quicker," Allmendinger continued. "It is nobody's fault. We just ran out of fuel. From there it was just a fight. We did everything we could to get as much as we could. A top-10 is good, but we know we should have had more. We will just keep building on it.
"I love these guys," Allmendinger added. "It is a lot of fun working together. The cars are designed right, the pit crew was really good today. We will just keep fighting."
"It was our best finish of the season and we have to be pleased with that," co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "It takes a team like ours to run up there to find out what we can do to improve. We definitely learned some things that we need to improve on. That is a good thing and we will address those things.
I think we have got the people and the equipment to run in the top 10 week in and week out. We have just got to keep pushing ourselves so we are doing it that way."
"We had a good car," competition director Bobby Hutchens said. "AJ did a really good job of driving it. We just did not get the fuel mileage we needed. We actually stopped a lap short from where we thought we needed to be and still ran out. We are pretty fortunate we had a caution come out then. We did not go a lap down there. We got a break.
"AJ did a good job of getting the SCOTT Products Toyota back through the field and missing a couple of those wrecks near the end," Hutchens continued. "It is a bittersweet thing. A top-10 is good and we fight hard for those. I really feel like we gave a win away.
We had a good enough car and was close enough to the front. We were going to be P2 (second) or P3 (third) when the field cycled. We just did not get to where we needed to be. "
"AJ did a real good job of getting a top-10 finish for us, but I think everybody knows we definitely were better than that," crew chief Brian Burns said. "On one stop, we just fell a little short on fuel. We are still trying to figure out what happened there. That first reading was really good.
These kind of things happen when you try to push it and get to the end there. Running good at Watkins Glen, definitely helps turn the boat around for us."
JTG Daugherty Racing