'I think we can go down there and win this race'
AJ Allmendinger has 10 starts at Daytona International Speedway, one top-five and two top-10s and has led 16 laps. Allmendinger's best finish is third (2/15/09). His average start is 18.600 and his average finish is 24.600.
Here is what he says about this weekend:
Daytona: “Daytona International Speedway is tough compared to Talladega Superspeedway to a certain extent," Allmendinger said. "Talladega is only .16 of a mile longer, but it just seems so much wider. I feel like you can hide a little bit more, get away from the pack a little bit and have more options on lanes to run. Daytona almost feels like a little short track when you get in that big pack. Overall, it’s a tougher place to race and you’ve just got to try to make the right decisions. As I always say at those places, be the one not to cause it and if you get caught up in it, then you are in it, and if not then you are very fortunate for the night.”
Strong superspeedway program: “I feel like our superspeedway cars have been fast this year," Allmendinger said. "Fortunately enough, knock on wood, we still have the same one that we started with. I felt like we were fast at Daytona (International Speedway) in February, but we just had something mechanical go wrong there."
All about timing: "We had a great finish at the last superspeedway we went to," Allmendinger said. "To go to Talladega Superspeedway and have a top-five race is a lot about missing the ‘Big One’ and being in the right place at the right time. It's the same with Daytona. I feel like we have fast enough equipment and we have shown it. If we go out there and do the right things and miss the ‘Big one’ and put ourselves in a good position, then we will have a shot at a good finish. It’s something that we need."
Heading in the right direction: "I feel like the last couple of weeks we have made a lot of progress," Allmendinger said. "We had a shot to win Sonoma Raceway. We definitely had our best speed out right at a 1.5-mile track this past weekend at Kentucky Speedway. The finishes don’t show it, but we have got to keep trying to head in the right direction. Hopefully, we will go to Daytona and just have a solid race.”
Keep moving: “We had a winning car at Sonoma Raceway and ended up having a bad day and then we went to Kentucky Speedway last week and backed it up by qualifying well and running well, but we didn’t get the result we wanted," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty said. "So, now we have moved on to the next race. It’s Daytona.”
Calculated: "People always talk about how anyone can win at Daytona and all that kind of stuff," Daugherty said. "In order to win at places like Daytona and Talladega, you have got to put yourself in the right position. I think AJ Allmendinger does that as well as anyone. You have to be patient, be smart and calculating."
Got the power: "I’m looking forward to Daytona because we’re starting to see more power from ECR Engines," Daugherty said. "That reliability and horsepower is going to be there for us. We just need to go out there and compete throughout the weekend and not make mistakes. Our guys on pit road have been excellent. I think we can go down there and win this race. I really do. I know it’s saying a lot simply because we haven’t won a race yet with him, but we’re getting close. Last week, was very encouraging. We made a mistake at the end of the race that cost us a top-10 finish. We are becoming more and more capable."