Track: Auto Club Speedway
Event: Auto Club 400
Date: Sunday, March 23, 2014
AJ Allmendinger earned JTG Daugherty Racing their best finish of the season with an eighth-place finish during the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway with his No. 47 Charter Chevrolet SS.
Good speed, strategy, teamwork and pit stops showed what this team is capable of when it all comes together. The top-10 finish advanced Allmendinger to 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings, 68 points out of first held by Carl Edwards.
Kyle Busch won the event with Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart rounding out the top-five finishers. There were 35 lead changes among 15 drivers and nine cautions for 42 laps. The margin of victory was 0.214 seconds.
“I think overall this was our best weekend in general and I’m really proud of the guys,” AJ Allmendinger said. “Friday was a struggle and we didn’t unload well, but then we turned things around and had our best Saturday ever with our practice sessions and that led into a solid race for us on Sunday. The race was overall good and the No. 47 Charter Chevrolet SS was consistent. It felt good on long runs if it would go green long enough.
“Things went well for us on addressing tires and going easy on them because there were some guys that had some problems,” Allmendinger continued. “We were an eighth to 12th place car and we were finally able to put it all together and get the finish we deserved. We know we still have work to do, but to have a solid day means a lot. I think it is finally putting a whole day together is the big picture here. We have had decent speed all along since the season started, but we just couldn’t put a full race together to be able to do everything right to have the results to show for our efforts. The little stuff is what we have to keep fine tuning so we don’t beat ourselves. This top-10 finish gives us momentum and confidence that we can put a solid car together and we can be consistently up front."
“California (Auto Club Speedway) has always been a tough track for me and it’s the best I’ve felt around that track ever,” Allmendinger said. “The lines David (Green) was helping me to run and the communication from Brian Burns (crew chief) has been the best communication on what I needed to do and where I needed to go. It was just solid. Finally, we get to look at that stat sheet and say we can do it and here’s proof. The good thing is that we earned it. We were there all day. It wasn’t luck. The way this program is going is in a good direction and we are figuring out what we need to use from RCR (Richard Childress Racing) and what we can do on our own better. I’m excited to see how things unfold these next few weeks.”
“I’m really proud of the efforts from everybody,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “AJ never backed down and never gave up. He just kept digging and got us a top-10. We definitely feel like we are all headed in the right direction. We have known we can run this good, but just have not been able to post the results. We have known it and we are getting things worked out right. To be able to showcase what we are capable of at Auto Club Speedway is a big deal for a small team like this. Before, we would have struggled to stay on lead lap and now we come away with a top-10 finish and at a track that AJ is not crazy about because of his past there. We did everything we needed to do today and we took care of the front end. We stuck to our plan to take care of tires and it paid off. This sport can be an emotional roller coaster and this finish really gets everybody motivated and our morale up heading into Martinsville Speedway.”
“Sometimes it takes a while for things to come together and on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, we were able to put everything together and finish in the top-10 like I think we are capable of each week,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “Now, we travel to Martinsville Speedway this week. The team was able to test there a little. They made a few runs that were enough to collect enough data to give us a starting point so we can unload closer. That way they are just fine tuning when we get there and we will be more competitive.”
Career Starts: 196
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 Hinds 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!
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