Phoenix II: AJ Allmendinger preview

McDonald's Partners With No. 10 GEM Team at Phoenix STATESVILLE, N.C. -- It will be a weekend of firsts for the No. 10 Dodge at Phoenix International Raceway. For the first time since its partnership with Gillett Evernham Motorsports began, ...

McDonald's Partners With No. 10 GEM Team at Phoenix

STATESVILLE, N.C. -- It will be a weekend of firsts for the No. 10 Dodge at Phoenix International Raceway. For the first time since its partnership with Gillett Evernham Motorsports began, McDonald's will be aboard the No. 10 Dodge.

"The entire crew on our No. 10 McDonald's Dodge is excited for Phoenix," said driver AJ Allmendinger who plans to log his first Sprint Cup start on the mile oval. "We're thrilled to have McDonald's partnering with the 10 car this weekend and we're hoping to give them positive results on the racetrack. I've only been with Gillett Evernham for a few weeks but I know how important it is to have the support of organizations like McDonald's. They're an essential part of the success that GEM has had over the years."

Allmendinger hasn't started a Cup race at Phoenix in his 42-race career. He does have a 13th-place finish in his single Nationwide Series start at PIR last year.

Sunday marks Allmendinger's fourth race with GEM. In the first three races he's posted the 16th most points of any driver. Only a late-race pit lane violation kept Allmendinger from moving even higher.

AJ Allmendinger

"Phoenix is a fairly new track to me. I've only raced there once in the Nationwide Series and hopefully I'll get my first start in the Cup Series this weekend. Our McDonald's team has been testing a lot over the past couple of weeks and I think a lot of the information will carry over to our Phoenix program. We're expecting good things.

"I think last week was a tough race for most of the field. With the way the track kept changing it was nearly impossible to keep up with it. The No. 10 team probably could have earned another top 20 but that pit road penalty lost up some spots. That was no one's mistake but my own."

Chassis info: The No. 10 crew will bring chassis No. 247. Backup is 232.

-credit: gem

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup