Dover International Speedway
Monster Mile is Monster Disappointment for Allmendinger
(Davidson, NC)-- Dover is known as the “Monster Mile,” but for AJ Allmendinger, it could well be thought of as the “Monster of Disappointment” after the Richard Petty Motorsports effort saw a shot at victory end in a puff of smoke in Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.
Once again starting the race from the front row after the grid was set by practice times, Allmendinger ran in the top five in the opening stages of the race. Working with Crew Chief Mike Shiplett to keep the No. 43 Best Buy Ford in tune with the rapidly-rubbering up one mile track, Allmendinger was nearly always on screen with the leader, just biding his time to be ready to go when it counted at the end.
But before he could get the chance to potentially take his first drive into Gatorade Victory Lane, a telltale puff of smoke out of the right side of the No. 43, and a series of lousy lap times spelled the end of the day for Allmendinger and his Best Buy Crew. The Richard Petty Motorsports team worked feverishly to get the car back on track and scrape out as many points as possible, but it was all for naught as he was credited with 37th at the finish, dropping him from 11th in points to 16th in the unofficial standings.
Deepening the disappointment was the fact that in last years fall race at Dover, Allmendinger qualified on the front row and led 143 laps only to suffer from a cut tire after running over a washer and forcing a trip back to the pits for a new set of Goodyears.
“I can't even put into words what I feel right now,” said Allmendinger, who calls Dover his favorite track but might soon change his mind about that. “The 43 Best Buy Ford was really good but then we started struggling with it being tight and some trouble with the right front. It looked like Jimmie was struggling with the right front too.
“But I figured out the lines to keep from the slick patches on the track and that got the right front under control. Once I did that, I was just having fun--it was easy. We were going to run Jimmie down. I literally had just radioed Mike that I got it figured out and we're good...then the engine started to go. I knew we were done. Honestly, it just really sucks. This is the second time in a row here where we had a race-winning car. First a washer, now this. I wanted it so much for my guys-they work so hard-for Best Buy, Ford. They deserve it. It just kills me.”
Allmendinger will look to shake the disappointment and claw back some points with the home race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
-source: walldinger racing