Atlanta II: AJ Allmendinger race report

Allmendinger's Top-Ten Day Evaporates Late in Atlanta Atlanta-6 September, 2010- Anyone who watched Sunday's Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but missed the final laps of the race would likely be surprised to see the final results...

Allmendinger's Top-Ten Day Evaporates Late in Atlanta

Atlanta-6 September, 2010- Anyone who watched Sunday's Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but missed the final laps of the race would likely be surprised to see the final results as a race-long run in the top ten turned into 18th at the finish for AJ Allmendinger in the No. 43 Insignia HDTV/Best Buy Ford Fusion.

Allmendinger, who was looking to make the most of his best-ever qualifying spot at the 1.5-mile oval as he targeted and even better result than the sixth place finish he scored at the track in the spring, was right in contention all night long. Even with long runs of green-flag laps spreading the field, the pace that the Insignia green Ford Fusion showed kept AJ in the hunt and fighting in the top ten. But as the race hit its final stages, that strong run faded with a few setbacks late in the race to keep him from converting that strong run into a top-ten finish.

After a string of restarts, and one last pit stop to look for a late race advantage on new Goodyears at a track that rewards grip, AJ didn't get the finish he was hoping for, and the team deserved, as he crossed the line 18th after 500 miles of racing in the hot Georgia night.

"I want to compliment my crew guys; they just had awesome stops all night and that's exactly what we need to improve and be consistently better," offered AJ after the race. "We kept up with the track most of the night and were almost as quick as we needed to be through the long runs so I was really happy with the car. And our stops were great-I have to give credit to the guys because the car was good, and our stops were great all night long.

"At the end, I just got blocked and shuffled on one of the last restarts and then we missed the last adjustments a bit so I was skating around and just didn't have the rear bite I needed at the end. So after such a good run, it was a disappointing finish for all of us on the 43 Insignia team because I think we showed we were a top-10 team, not just car tonight. But we have to be encouraged with what we had and will just keep working harder to bring the results home to show for it."

-source: walldinger racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup