Penalty the pits for AJ in California; Dropped lug nut makes for long night out West (FONTANA, CA ) 22 February 2009--AJ Allmendinger was looking to keep the momentum going from a strong start to the 2009 season in the ...
Penalty the pits for AJ in California; Dropped lug nut makes for long night out West
(FONTANA, CA ) 22 February 2009--AJ Allmendinger was looking to keep the momentum going from a strong start to the 2009 season in the #44 Charter Communications Dodge Charger on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, but a penalty following a small set back in the pits, teamed with a car that just didn't turn like AJ hoped, saw him fight to 29th at the Fontana finish in the AutoClub 500 for Richard Petty Motorsports.
After opening the race from 7th on the grid, AJ struggled with a lack of front bite, only to then have the Charter Communications Dodge go way loose as the track cooled in the California night. A penalty for a dropped lug nut during a green flag pit stop forced AJ to do the long slow rumble down the long Auto Club Speedway pit lane, sending him two laps down from the leader.
With a machine that was tough to tame, there were just not enough laps to make up the difference, although Allmendinger was still able to fight his way back into the top 30 late in the race to score 29th at the finish.
"This was a frustrating weekend after having such a great outing in Daytona," said Allmendinger. "We were just trying to get the best out of what we had, but we just didn't have a car that was handling well enough to fight back from that set back. All four of the Richard Petty Motorsports cars had a tough night, but we'll look to bounce back with a strong run next weekend in Las Vegas."
- The result puts the #44 13th in the unofficial team owner points after round two.