Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Event: Aaron's 499
Date: Sunday, May 4
Proud is the word AJ Allmendinger used repeatedly after his fifth-place finish in JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 47 BUSH’S® Beans Chevrolet SS at Talladega Superspeedway. Now, Allmendinger has one top-five and three top-10 finishes in 10 starts this season. Allmendinger jumped two positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver points standings and is now 15th, 68 points out of first place held by Jeff Gordon. He is only 18 points out of 10th place.
Denny Hamlin was the race winner, Greg Biffle finished second, Clint Bowyer was third, Brian Vickers was fourth and Allmendinger rounded out the top-five. There were 48 lead changes among 23 drivers and eight caution flags for 31 laps in the 188-lap event.
“First off, I have to thank everybody at the No. 47 shop for doing such hard work and preparing this car so well and also thank RCR (Richard Childress Racing) and ECR Engines because there was just so much speed in that race car,” Allmendinger said. “The previous restart the outside lane had such a run and I kept inching, inching, inching and I just waited too late and got shuffled. I really thought I messed us up there on that last restart. I have got to thank Paul Menard. He just kept shoving me all the way up through the inside line of guys. I’m just proud of every one on this team. We are slowly getting there, each step, day-by-day. I am just proud to be on this team right now.”
“The previous restart the outside lane had such a run and I kept moving and they’d stall out and shuffle me back,” Allmendinger said. “I thought I messed up there like I said. The last restart, man Paul (Menard) was on my bumper and pushing me the whole time. Overall, I am so proud of everybody on the No. 47 team and BUSH’S Beans, Clorox, Kingsford, Charter, SCOTT Products, House-Autry, Shore Lunch and all the great sponsors on this team that help us get here. I’m just proud to be a part of this race team right now. We are slowly getting there. Each week is a step forward.”
“Heck, I just wanted to finish this race because I haven’t finished much here,” Allmendinger. “I was close to two of the wrecks. I was coming to the checkered flag thinking, ‘Please, let’s just roll this thing back up on the hauler with all four tires rolling.’ It’s just a testament to this team. They work hard and all the credit goes to my guys. We only have about 35 employees and they keep busting their butts. Tad Geschickter his wife Jodi and Brad Daugherty have such a great ownership and it’s a lot of fun. They make me feel like family. This whole team is like family. This is probably the best team I have driven for when it comes to the unity of the team making me feel important.”
“The package we have now drafts so well,” Allmendinger said. “I kept waiting for everyone to calm down and get in a single file line. I went to the back at one point thinking everybody was going to calm down and it never happened. With about 50 laps to go, I was like, ‘Alright, I guess it’s time to get crazy with everybody.’ I hope the fans enjoyed it. It was awesome to see all the fans come out and pack the grandstands here at Talladega Superspeedway. It’s like old Talladega. Thanks to the fans for coming out and I hope it was a great show.”
“We’re slowly getting there,” Allmendinger said. “Everybody wants to keep jumping because we are close enough to the Chase that people keep talking about it. I don’t worry about the Chase. If we are good enough by the point of race 20 I’ll start worrying about it. Right now, it’s a week to week thing. We only have four or five primary race cars right now. The guys keep doing a good job and I’m doing everything I can to make sure I bring them home in one piece each weekend. We’re slowly getting there. We’re going to have our ups and downs. We could go to Kansas Speedway this weekend and possibly struggle or go to Kansas and dominate the race. That’s the questions we have each week. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and we’re getting closer.”
“I’m really proud of everybody and the effort today to leave Talladega with a top-five finish,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “It is one of those races that’s kind of like a crap shoot. To just get out of here with a top-20 finish, most people were pretty happy with that. As smart as AJ was today, he made some really smart decisions and kept the car clean all day long. He was able to pull off a fifth-place finish, which is our personal best for the year. We all know we can get better from here on out.”
Career Starts: 201
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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Sunday, May 4
JTG Daugherty Racing sponsor meet and greets.