Loudon II: AJ Allmendinger race report

Allmendinger Fights Back to 12th in New Hampshire Fuel Stalls AJ's Progress Early 19 September 2010 (Loudon, NH)-- The results for the Sylvania 300 will show AJ Allmendinger as taking a lead-lap 12th place finish, but that number doesn't do ...

Allmendinger Fights Back to 12th in New Hampshire
Fuel Stalls AJ's Progress Early

19 September 2010 (Loudon, NH)-- The results for the Sylvania 300 will show AJ Allmendinger as taking a lead-lap 12th place finish, but that number doesn't do justice to the pace that the No. 43 Insignia HDTV/Best Buy Ford Fusion had on Sunday as the NASCAR Sprint Cup kicked off the final stretch of races in the 2010 season at New Hampshire International Raceway.

Starting from sixth on the grid--his second top six qualifying effort in as many weeks--AJ motored around the New England oval right on pace with the leaders in the early laps. Despite still hunting for more grip and keeping the back end as planted as he wanted it to be, AJ got into a good rhythm and was leading the charge for Ford and Richard Petty Motorsports.

But the story changed just as the race hit the century mark as AJ ran out of fuel, speed, and momentum as he hit pit lane. The resulting recovery saw him return to the field one lap down.

That could have been the end of the story-a bummer fuel day leading to a mid-pack finish. But then, that story wouldn't have been about AJ. Instead, he kept quiet on the radio and just kept fighting forward. Even though the track isn't one that's well-known for passing opportunities, AJ raced his way back up to the Lucky Dog spot. And the fortunes even smiled a bit as that happened just as a caution came.

Back on the lead lap, AJ made the most of the the strong pace that the Mike Shiplett-led engineering staff had cooked up with the No. 43 Ford. Charging right to the end, and still making sure to have enough fuel to finish as well as tires to keep moving forward, AJ crossed the granite-lined start-finish in 12th after a hard days work.

The effort came just shy of the 10th place finish AJ scored at the track in June, but considering the huge comeback, was still a good showing as it also bumped him up one spot in the points to 21st, with nine races yet to go.

"I'm happy to have another solid weekend with the car," said AJ. "On our first run, we ran out of fuel. We thought we were two laps to the good to pit, but for some reason we ran out. That put us behind the rest of the day. We had a solid top ten, probably top five car all day so I'm happy with that. We've just got to keep working on minimizing our mistakes so we can make the most of it when we've got such a fast car."

Next up is Dover, where AJ qualified 8th and finished 14th in May.

-source: www.ajallmendinger.com

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty
Teams Richard Petty Motorsports