Allmendinger talks about Daytona 500 rain out

SRT Motorsports press release

A.J. Allmendinger, Penske Racing Dodge
A.J. Allmendinger, Penske Racing Dodge

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

A.J. ALLMENDINGER (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)

AS A DRIVER, YOU GET ALL PSYCHED UP ON SUNDAY MORNING TO RACE AND THEN YOU’RE SITTING AROUND DURING A RAIN DELAY. HOW TOUGH IS THAT? “Obviously, you want to go race. We get to race when we race. I know it sucks for the people sitting out there because they’ve got to sit in the rain, but for us, we go in here (motorhome) and we have push-up contests, we eat a lot of food and we have a good time (smiles). I’ve had times when it’d be like raining on Friday and when it rained on Friday, I didn’t get to race. We race when we race.”

IS THE RACETRACK GOING TO BE REMARKABLY DIFFERENT NOW? “No, I don’t think so; depends if we start tonight. Obviously, it’d be a little bit cooler, so that’s going to be a little bit more grip on the racetrack. I feel like when it was hot out, it actually slickened up a little bit too where handling became an issue. Handling may not be as important, but I don’t think the track is going to be very different. All it did was wash off all the oil dry from all the wrecks from the last two days (smiles).”

IF THE RACE IS POSTPONED UNTIL MONDAY, DOES THAT DRASTICALLY AFFECT YOUR SCHEDULE FOR NEXT WEEK SINCE YOU ARE GOING TO PHOENIX? “For me, it doesn’t affect me much, you know. Whenever we get home, I’ll still do the stuff I have to do, media wise, team wise. I think our Phoenix cars should be done. More than anything, I think it’s going to be pain in the butt for the guys driving the haulers that have to get there, unload it, and load the other car and leave. So it’ll be a little bit tough for those guys but for me, no big deal.”

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TODD GORDON (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)

HOW DIFFICULT IS THIS RAIN DELAY FOR THE TEAM PERSPECTIVE, JUST SITTING HERE AND HOPING THAT THE WEATHER CLEARS? “Probably the biggest thing is trying to utilize your time and that’s what we’re doing right now because the thing I look at is if we don’t race today, I’m not sure about tomorrow. It might be Tuesday morning, but we’re stacking up on two consecutive weeks. Phoenix is coming up and that’s a long trip so we’ve got to get a lot of stuff worked out for that and then our Vegas stuff will leave before we come back from Phoenix. We’re just trying to make sure that we can get our stuff prepared for the next two weeks that come after this.”

IF WE ARE HERE IN DAYTONA AN EXTRA DAY, HOW DOES THE DISTANCE TO BE TRAVELED FROM CHARLOTTE TO PHOENIX AFFECT YOUR PLANS? “I think logistically it’s a challenge, but we’ve got a lot of good people at Penske that can kind of coordinate that with our test trucks and test truck drivers. We can kind of shuffle things around to make sure that we take care of the drivers, getting them where they need to get to. If we fall all the way back to Tuesday morning, it’ll definitely be a challenge.”

DOES THE FACT THAT YOU ARE GOING FROM A RESTRICTOR PLATE RACE TO AN INTERMEDIATE TRACK THROW ANOTHER KINK INTO THE PLANNING? “It is because there’s a lot of stuff on this truck that is speedway-only. You want to get the truck back at the shop for a swap out, to get this stuff off and get our short track and intermediate track stuff back on the truck. That’s some of the stuff that we’re talking about, just trying to make sure that we cover all those bases and being prepared for what’s going on.”

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers A.J. Allmendinger , Eric Gilbert
Teams Team Penske
Tags allmendinger, dodge, penske