AJ Allmendinger has some serious momentum heading into Kansas after a top five finish at Talladega.
Saturday night lights: “Since they repaved that place, it’s been really fast,” AJ Allmendinger said. “Under the lights at Kansas Speedway, we will probably have cool weather. Anybody that likes speed should go see this race because it will be interesting to watch. You will get to see how the race plays out for the first time at night and whether the track conditions change or not. It’s going to be a fun race for the fans to watch and hopefully a good time for us with our No. 47 Kingsford Chevrolet SS.”
Get Out & Grill: “It’s Mother’s Day weekend and the perfect time to get out and grill with Kingsford Charcoal and show your mom how much she means to you,” Allmendinger said. “Also, check out what the JTG Daugherty Racing team is doing that’s pretty cool for the fans. We’re asking fans to send us pictures of what they are grilling for mom and our favorite entry will be selected as our Fan of the Week. Their pic will be placed on our car for the race next weekend. Be sure to tag @Kingsford on Twitter and include #47FANOFTHEWEEK hashtag.”
Aero comes into play: “They are giving us a new right side tire for Kansas weekend," crew chief Brian Burns said. "Initially, we are going to have to figure out the characteristics of the tire. We have seen some of these races this year that tire wear plays a big part in some of this. I don’t feel like it will play a role with wear this time. We feel like they are probably bringing something pretty durable. This weekend is going to be probably mainly about aero. With that in mind you have to keep that car clean until the end. Minor damage during the race can definitely slow your car down. We’ve got to make that car work on the top and make it as aero and attitude friendly as we can."
Win in the works: “I sure hope so and I hope it is this weekend and we put ourselves in position to get a win at Kansas Speedway for our sponsors,” Allmendinger said. “My guys at the shop, and I mean everyone on the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team has been working so hard. Our Kansas car is basically the same car we have ran the whole year at every intermediate track. The guys have done a lot of work to update it to get the car ready for Kansas. Basically, it is as close as we can get to what the RCR (Richard Childress Racing) guys are doing with their cars. They have worked hard to make it better. It’s not our best car so far, but every race track is different and it is a new race weekend.”
There’s a chance: “I’m just really proud of all the work the guys are doing and to have all the sponsors we have on the car each weekend,” Allmendinger said. “Tad (Geschickter) and Brad (Daugherty) work their butts off to get these sponsors. They do such a great job with them. I hope that a win is around the corner. Everybody kind of picks out Sonoma Raceway as maybe being the race and we get to go test there, which is a good thing. I just take it one week at a time. It can be this weekend, it could be next weekend as long as we keep doing the things we are doing and progressively getting better each weekend. You know, we will have a shot at it.”
Dega recap: “When I rolled into Talladega Superspeedway, I expected anything and everything to happen,” Allmendinger said. “Two wrecks happened around us and it’s one of those things where you say, ‘Alright, we got through that one, let’s plan for the next one.’ You get lucky being at the right place at the right time. On that last restart, we were 13th and I got a lot of help by being shoved toward the front by Paul Menard. Paul’s car was just so fast. He got us up there. He got me by a lot of guys on the white (flag). He was on my bumper pushing me and we had a run. It caught me off guard because I got up to the No. 55 car (Brian Vickers) so quick and Paul wasn’t clear. As we were coming to the 55, I saw he wasn’t clear. I was hoping he could, but he hadn’t cleared that group so I stayed in line. So, it kind of killed the momentum. Any time you come out with a top-five finish at Talladega, that is a good day. Heck, I was just happy to roll the car back up on the hauler with all four tires rolling. A top-five finish is a bonus. We came back without a scratch on it. Although, when we got the car back at the shop, we found a piece of a rotor or a brake pad or something that came through the front of the car through the grill screen and through the metal behind it and was right in front of the radiator and never got to it. Except for that mark, everything was clean on the race car. That was luck. I will always take luck over skill at Talladega.”
Big things: “Being a smaller team like ours, we are definitely overachieving right now,” Burns said. “A lot of us over here at JTG Daugherty Racing are starting to think we can do something pretty big this year.”
One top-five, three top-10s this season: “We actually feel like we let a few top-10s slip away earlier in the season,” Burns said. “We are just trying to show we are capable. We really want to show off this year and get people to buy into it too.”
Races circled: “AJ’s really a good road-course racer so we are going to put a lot of focus into Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International,” Burns said. “Some of these races we’ve been coming up to he says, ‘Man, I’m not really good here. I don’t have a great record here and I’ve struggled.” Those are some of the best finishes we have had this year. He doesn’t even realize how good he is and how much he has improved and what he is capable of. I think a lot of the short tracks he’s really strong at like Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway where we ran good. When we went to places like that - short tracks - he has excelled and we’ve definitely got road courses circled. At superspeedways it’s anyone’s race.”
Last weekend: “It’s got to be a good weekend when you leave Talladega Superspeedway with the same race car you showed up with in pretty good shape,” Burns said. “Not only that, we left with a top-five finish.”
JTG Daugherty Racing