Charlotte: AJ Allmendinger preview

No. 44 Hunt Brothers Pizza Dodge driver AJ Allmendinger finished third at the Daytona 500-- the biggest race of the season. He hopes to duplicate that finish this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver is...

No. 44 Hunt Brothers Pizza Dodge driver AJ Allmendinger finished third at the Daytona 500-- the biggest race of the season. He hopes to duplicate that finish this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver is 25th in the standings.

Allmendinger brings a little bit different perspective from most NASCAR drivers to racing's most important weekend. The former open wheel standout, who owns six victories in the CART Series, will certainly keep an eye on the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday but he prefers his stock car career in NASCAR. In just 55 Sprint Cup races, the 27-year-old Californian has quickly become a fan favorite in NASCAR nearly winning the Sprint Fan Vote Saturday night in the All-Star race.

AJ Allmendinger:

INDIANAPOLIS 500-- "I always keep an eye on Indy. I have a lot of friends who are racing there including my old teammate Justin Wilson. But, I love what I am doing now and have no plans to change. If there's ever a circumstance where I could do Indy and keep my Cup career then ...maybe. But I love where I am at right now. I have learned you never say never to anything in racing but NASCAR is my home. There's nothing more competitive in the world and that includes Formula One, Indycar, you name it. You win here and you beat the best and that's my goal."

SEASON SO FAR-- "We are a brand new team that basically started two weeks before the season started so we have been in catch-up mode. But that's OK. We have overcome big ger challenges. We've had some great runs and then times we have struggled. But I think you will see our performance pick up again."

MEMORIAL DAY PLANS-- "We don't have any plans. Maybe golf who knows. The holiday is important and it's a good thing we think about the people who gave their lives for our country. Its a great racing weekend so I think fans are going to have a great Sunday."

RICHARD PETTY ON ALLMENDINGER- "With AJ you almost have to slow him down. You don't have to get him going. He attacks the track. The more familiar he gets with these cars the better you will see him do in races. Plus he's a leader off the track. I like that about him."

* Allmendinger will drive chassis 280 this weekend. It finished 17th at Atlanta.

* Allmendinger will sign autographs at his merchandise hauler at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday in Charlotte.

* Allmendinger finished 31st and 20th in 2007 and 2008 in this race.

-credit: rpm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Justin Wilson , Richard Petty
Teams Richard Petty Motorsports