AJ Allmendinger Captures Strong Second Place Finish In STP 500by Camille Jones April 5, 2016 0 comments
RIDGEWAY, Va. – AJ Allmendinger scored his second top-10 finish of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season after finishing runner-up in Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Allmendinger, driver of JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 47 Kroger Coffee-Mate Chevrolet has finished in the top-10 at Martinsville Speedway four times throughout his career; however Sunday’s finish marked only his seventh top-five finish in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. He even battled with six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson on multiple occasions throughout the 500-lap event.
“Man, I hope the fans enjoyed that,” Allmendinger said. “Thanks for coming out. It was a lot of fun. I passed Jimmie Johnson like five times at Martinsville. That is pretty fricking cool. I just can’t thank everybody on this team enough. Randall Burnett (crew chief), Ernie Cope (competition director), Brain Burns (engineer), Tony Palmer (engineer) for embracing their new roles and everybody really stepping up together, especially Tad and Jodi Geschickter (team owners) for putting all this effort into this team.”
Starting sixth in Sunday’s race, Allmendinger was optimistic for a strong race, feeling that his No. 47 team had already had a successful weekend so far. After six races this season, Allmendinger currently sits 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points standings.
“Just a really solid weekend as a whole.” Allmendinger said. “We had a good qualifying, a great happy hour, and early in the race we weren’t quite where we wanted to be, and we got our car really, really good on the long runs. That’s kind of where I thought we shined.”
Next weekend the series travels to Texas Motor Speedway, the seventh race of the season. Allmendinger feels that while his team has struggled at the 1.5-mile oval in the past, the upcoming race may be a chance for them to turn their results around in the Lone Star State.
“Texas hasn’t been one of our best racetracks, but I feel like our mile-and-a-half program has definitely improved,” Allmendinger said. “That’s a racetrack that it’s tough, a guy like Kyle, he’s really good. He goes and runs the top there, so it’s a place that I’ve had decent runs but I’ve never really had great runs there, so I’m always kind of searching to find what I need. But race cars are getting better, so I know the guys back at the shop are really pumped up with the Texas car, and we’ll unload it and see what kind of speed we had and kind of base the rest of our weekend off.”
For Allmendinger and the No. 47 team, capitalizing on their competitive runs over the course of the season is key.
“We’re getting there. There’s ups and downs. This is a long season. The biggest thing, especially with a team like ours, is when you have a good race car, you’ve got to capitalize on it. Fortunately today we were able to do that.”
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas