A.J. Allmendinger, ...
A.J. Allmendinger, #10
Allmendinger recovered from an early spin to finish sixth in Saturday's US Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland. The American collected 19 championship points for his effort bringing his season total to 73, one point behind Justin Wilson in the Rookie of the Year standings. Today's race marks the second consecutive sixth place finish and the third consecutive top-10 result for Allmendinger.
Allmendinger advanced to third place on the first race lap where he ran strong until a spin on Lap 12. He fell to 15th after having to pit on Lap 14. With the help of a well-planned pit stop strategy and some on-track attrition, Allmendinger not only got his lap back, but advanced through the field to sixth place.
"We had the car too low early in the race and it was hitting the ground too much, but I was still trying to be aggressive. I don't know how I didn't hit the tires because it was just like what happened to me in practice. I thought I was going in backwards, but I got it turned back around to keep going. I flat spotted the tires, so we had to pit. Once I settled back down, we did OK. Hats off to (engineers) David (Brown) and Chris Lurch and everyone on the team because during the last stint the car was the best it's been all weekend. I think I was one of the quickest cars on the track at the end. I'm happy for sixth though because as I was facing the tires I would have taken sixth any day because I thought I was going in (to the tire wall). We should have at least had third though. We have the speed, so we'll just have to move on from this and go get them in Toronto."
Carl Russo, Team Owner
"It was an up and down race for AJ, but what preceded the race was a strong qualifying session. The team is starting to show better and better car speed which is all important. Results will come. AJ did a great job in qualifying, but he made one small mistake in the race and that's all it takes at this level of racing. AJ and his crew did a great job to recover to sixth, and we're certainly proud of that result. He's had two back-to-back sixth place finishes which I believe puts him right in the middle of the Rookie of the Year hunt."