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Mar 19, 2014 - 07:05 AM
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2014 Fontana (California): AJ Allmendinger NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 19, 2014 - 07:01 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Fontana (California): AJ Allmendinger NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


Track: Auto Club Speedway
Event: Auto Club 400
Date: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Time: 3 PM ET
TV /Radio: FOX / MRN / SIRIUSXM

 

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TEAM QUOTES:

California love: “California, it’s so nice there,” AJ Allmendinger said. “For the most part, the weather there is really nice. It is beautiful scenery whether you’re from Northern California (San Jose) like I am or if you go down to Southern California where we are going to race. It’s just a beautiful state.”

“California is a little different,” Allmendinger continued. “The state is almost like it is two different states whether you are from Northern or Southern California. I definitely love where I grew up and where I was raised. I spent 21 years there and still love going back home especially when it’s time for Sonoma (Raceway) because that’s closer to my home. It is, it’s different because you get somebody that says, ‘Oh yeah, I’m from California’ and then they say ‘Southern California’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah that’s a different state, I’m not from there.’ We all have pride in where we are from. I'm looking forward to racing in my home state on Sunday with Charter on board.”

Racing all over the state: “With my mom and dad it was always a family thing whether we were going to races or we were go-kart racing,” Allmendinger said. “Growing up through the karting ranks when I was younger, I did a lot of races in California at so many tracks within a three hour radius. It was fun each weekend. There were times where we went to different tracks during the weekend where there was a race on a Saturday and we would go to a different track to race on Sunday. I just loved being able to share that with my parents. At the time, you’re always thinking I want to be big time racing. Now, I look back at it and the time I got to share with my mom and dad was something very special.”

Focused on progress: “I think we bit off a lot over the winter,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “There are a lot of different processes working through the Richard Childress Racing engineering system. We beat ourselves the first two weeks, but it was all process stuff that we can fix that is in our control. We took care of it at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and had a top-20 at a mile-and-a-half, which showed progress as we went into Bristol Motor Speedway this past weekend. As long as we continue to show progress, I think we will get to where we want to be and be ultra-competitive this season.”

Versatility: “Since the season kicked off, we have been at a different type of track every week," Geschickter said. “That is why this is the toughest sport in the world. You are presented a different challenge every week. Having teammates to test with and share notes will certainly help our learning curve that will translate into speed.”

Tough sport: “It’s tough to run in the top-20," Allmendinger said. "I’m not the most patient person and I’m trying to preach that to myself and to the race team as we continue building. At Phoenix we had a fast race car and had a clutch problem and fell off the jack and that cost us a top-10 or top-15. We’re not going to get there overnight, but I like the direction we are going in. You can’t just go to first right away. The last couple of years the team has been 30th in points and Tad and his wife Jodi (Geschickter) and Brad (Daugherty) took a huge step in trying to make the team better by having the RCR alliance and that’s already paying huge dividends for us. Just in the knowledge we are gaining, especially with the new rules package with the ride heights and trying to figure out which direction these cars are going. The way I look at it, we can be a top-20 car every weekend and minimize our mistakes. That’s how we keep building. We had a problem at Daytona (International Speedway) and Phoenix (International Raceway) and fixed those problems at Vegas (Las Vegas Motor Speedway). We didn't have the finish we wanted at Bristol Motor Speedway after some bad luck, but we did finish inside the top-25. Now, we turn our focus to Auto Club Speedway.”

FAST FACTS:

Career Starts: 195
Top-fives: 5
Top-10s: 30
Pole Awards: 2
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Pole: 4/22/2012 Kansas
Best Start: 1 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Best Finish: 2 4/1/2012 Martinsville
Driver DOB: 12/16/1981
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Crew Chief: Brian Burns

GET OUT & GRILL:

IT'S NEVER TOO COLD TO GRILL

When it gets cold out, real grillers start a fire. So throw on those ridiculous sweaters you got the the holidays and grill up some of these cold weather classics.

FAN OF THE WEEK:
Enter NOW for a chance to ride along with AJ Allmendinger during a race this season!

Throughout the season our JTG Daugherty Racing "#47 FAN OF THE WEEK" will have their photo featured on AJ's car.

Each week we post the "#47 FAN OF THE WEEK" theme, with instructions on how you can enter. The best fan photo submitted to us VIA the JTG Daugherty Racing Facebook page will be chosen the following Monday and will be featured on the #47 car the following weekend's race.

Last week we asked for a little help from NASCAR fans, as we were on the lookout for a new "spotter"... Our regular spotter, David Green is normally stationed high above the race track, guiding AJ Allmendinger through the field as he races his way towards the front. Since David was so busy spotting for AJ and having to keep track of the #47 car racing around the track at 200 mph, we thought it would be a good idea to add a second spotter to the team. Trying to spot our sponsor's logos should be pretty simple since they are such easily recognizable brands that every NASCAR fan probably shops for every week! We think it was the easiest job anyone could ever apply for!

We had a few good applicants but it became clear that sometimes the best spotters come from way out West and Eli Wilds from the Great State of Washington was able to identify just what we were looking for!

Eli has a keen eye and he knows what it takes to identify a great bunch of sponsors, pair them together and put them on four wheels! Whether it's putting America's best brands together on a race car or in a shopping cart Eli found the perfect combination! That is why he is this week's #47FanOfTheWeek!

CONGRATS ELI!

AJS WHEREABOUTS:

Saturday, March 22nd

8:10 AM AJ meets contestants for Motor City Masters TV Shoot

Sunday, March 23rd

9:30 AM JTG Daugherty Racing Meet and Greets at 47 Hauler

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