Daytona 500: AJ Allmendinger race report

ALLMENDINGER THIRD IN DAYTONA 500 (DAYTONA BEACH, FL ) 15 February 2009-- AJ Allmendinger finished 3rd in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, driving the ...

ALLMENDINGER THIRD IN DAYTONA 500

(DAYTONA BEACH, FL ) 15 February 2009-- AJ Allmendinger finished 3rd in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, driving the #44 Valvoline Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports to take his career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup result to date. The Daytona 500 start was the first for the 27-year old California native, who is contesting his third season of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.

After racing his way into the 51st Great American Race with a 10th place finish in the second Gatorade Duel on Thursday, AJ started the 500 from 20th on the grid. AJ quickly moved up at the start to run in the top ten by the 50 lap mark, and then into the top three on lap 92.

The scheduled 200-lap race was called due to rain with 48 laps to go as AJ raced in the lead pack. After running 1-2-3 in what would become the closing laps of the race, Richard Petty Motorsports had three team entries finish in the top ten.

"It would have been cool to have a Richard Petty Motorsports 1-2-3, but 3 in the top 10 is definitely a good start," said Allmendinger. "This really goes to my team-we really put this team together a few weeks ago, the pit stops were great...and my teammates. Honestly I wouldn't even be here if Elliot and Reed hadn't worked with me like they had in the Duels. This is a great way to start the year and hopefully we can just keep this momentum going."

The race result is Allmendinger's third top ten with Richard Petty Motorsports.

-credit: ajallmendinger.com

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty
Teams Richard Petty Motorsports