AJ Ninth at Martinsville; Saves brakes to take second top-ten of 2009 (Martinsville, VA)- 29 March 2009--AJ Allmendinger had another strong outing in the ...
AJ Ninth at Martinsville; Saves brakes to take second top-ten of 2009
(Martinsville, VA)- 29 March 2009--AJ Allmendinger had another strong outing in the #44 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge Charger in the Goody's Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, finishing 9th after racing like a veteran to save his brakes while still keeping the lead-lap pace. The result moves AJ up to 15th in the unofficial points standings behind Juan Montoya and ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Starting from 16th on the grid after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by points, AJ stayed in the top 15 in the early stages of the 500-lap battle. Despite having a tight handling car, he worked to keep his right front tires as fresh as possible as he consistently ran in the top 15. But AJ had another challenge as the brakes went soft.
On a track that requires short bursts of throttle, and huge braking power, this could have rattled a rookie, but AJ managed to back it down a bit, let the brakes cool through his run, and made the most of them when they came back to close out the day 9th in the order.
The result is the second top-ten finish of the season for Allmendinger, and the fourth of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career.
"I was really happy with the performance of the team all day," said Allmendinger. "Our pit stops got better as the day went on and they did a good job with a short amount of time they had to work together. Overall, the car was a bit too tight center off to be a top 5 car. In the middle of the race, the brake fluid got to hot and the pedal got soft in the long run. After the yellow, fluid cooled down and the brakes were fine the rest of the race. I came here wanting to just have a solid top-10, and my team helped deliver that today."