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Jun 25, 2014 - 07:02 AM
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· 2014 Sonoma: NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-up & Race Preview (Jun 22, 2014)
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2014 Kentucky: AJ Allmendinger NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 25, 2014 - 07:00 AM
2014 Kentucky: AJ Allmendinger NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

Track: Kentucky Speedway
Event: Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts
Race Date / Time: Saturday, June 28th, 7:30 PM ET
TV / Radio: TNT / PRN Radio / SiriusXM


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Kentucky at night: “Kentucky Speedway is one of my favorite places and I’ve ran decent there before,” Allmendinger said. “It’s definitely got a lot of bumps in it. It is not like it is rough, but it is wavy and tough to get around. It will be warm this weekend, so the track will be slick. That makes it tough for the guys to set up the SCOTT® Products Chevrolet SS and on top of that you practice during the day and race at night."

Get into the groove: "Kentucky Speedway is one of those places where you have to get into a rhythm," Allmendinger said. "The track is not really wide, but you have lines you can choose. If you can get your car working over the bumps, then you have an advantage. You have to have finesse for this track and you cannot be aggressive. You have got to be patient because the track changes a lot and it gets slick.”

A lot of positives last weekend: “I think everything was a positive except the end result at Sonoma Raceway,” Allmendinger said. “We had a car capable of winning and the way things were playing out, we would have had a shot at it. It hurts because we know we had a chance to win the thing. We’re a small team and any time you can say you had a race winning car and led the most laps, it feels good to be able to say that. We didn’t do anything wrong. Everyone did an outstanding job from the road crew, the pit crew to the guys back at the JTG Daugherty Racing shop. Our pit crew has really come together these past few weeks. Basically, everything was good this past weekend - especially the announcement of our multi-year Clorox sponsorship extension - except the race result and that hurt us points wise.”

Full steam ahead: “We have a newer car for Kentucky Speedway,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “It’s the one we raced at Michigan International Speedway. We’re going to take another big stab this weekend to try to improve our mile-and-a-half program. We are going to be aggressive to try to make some big gains. ECR Engines has made improvements and they are giving us even more steam for this weekend and that’s exciting. I think Kentucky is one of the more bumpy tracks and we seem to have a better handle on those type of tracks as opposed to the smoother ones. I believe AJ likes this track. We will have a better handling package for the night race and being a night race makes it seem more action-packed.”

Coming together: "Like AJ said, the road crew and the pit crew (and the guys back at the shop) just really did a great job at Sonoma Raceway," Burns said. "Although, we didn’t get the finishing position we were there for, everybody knows we were definitely a strong contender. We are going to try to carry that momentum into the next few races.”

Focus on the future: “I think it took us a day to digest the disappointment of Sonoma,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “The positive side is that we know we can run up there to compete for a win. We have to focus on the future and not dwell on the past. We have continued to work hard on our mile-and-a-half program and are looking ahead to Kentucky Speedway this weekend. The team took the Michigan (International Speedway) car that was new and turned it around so we can race that car Saturday night. I know our partners Richard Childress Racing, ECR Engines and everyone here at JTG Daugherty Racing are really working hard on the program and as we continue to learn what formula AJ likes at the mile-and-a-halfs.”

Another significant race for the team: “This is a big race for us because we will have a lot of partners coming out to watch us race at Kentucky Speedway,” Geschickter continued. “45 minutes up the road in Cincinnati is our Daytona 500 sponsor Kroger. They will bring their executives out to the race and as a result of that, a lot of our sponsors are coming. We will be putting our best foot forward like we always do.”

Big news for fans: “We’ve got some big news coming up around the corner,” Geschickter said. “NASCAR fans are what make our sport thrive and we wanted to give them some insider access. We will be announcing a new platform to do just that and we are thrilled about it. We will have more details in the coming weeks. We’re planning to launch early July. Stay tuned.”

AJ Allmendinger has three starts at Kentucky Speedway and one top-10 finish. Allmendinger's best finish is ninth-place (6/30/12). His average start is 18.667 and his average finish is 19.667.


Career Starts: 207
Top-fives: 6
Top-10s: 33
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

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