Daytona 500 Starting Position: 30th
Can-Am Duel 2 Finish: 15th (Accident)
Can-Am Duel 2 Start: 15th
Daytona 500: Sun., Feb. 21st, 1 PM ET, FOX/MRN/SIRIUSXM
A top-five finish escaped AJ Allmendinger’s grasp when his No. 47 Kroger/SCOTT Products Chevrolet SS was collected in a multi-car accident on the final lap of the Can-Am Duel 2 Thursday night. Allmendinger was credited with a 15th-place finish and will have to go to a back-up car for the Daytona 500 Sunday afternoon.
“I felt like we did a good job to maximize everything we could to get out there and have a chance to have a top-five finish,” Allmendinger said. “My guys have worked hard on it. The Kroger/SCOTT Products Chevy hasn’t been the fastest car, but we kept making it better and it is just sad that we wasted that car for no reason.
“Starting position here doesn’t mean anything and we are going to a back-up car,” Allmendinger continued. “We haven’t had the speed in both our cars yet - the Sprint Unlimited car or this car. I feel like we are going to have to go to work on our back-up car. I think it’s fairly close to this one. It’s just some more work for my guys. We were hoping to get through there with a clean car and I thought we might. Actually, I thought the way it was funneling out, I might have had a shot to win the race. It’s just disappointing, but it’s Daytona. My guys will wake up tomorrow and work as hard as ever, as they always do.”
“We tuned on the car really hard this week and got it a lot better in the draft,” said Randall Burnett, crew chief. “We thought the car had really good speed. Unfortunately, we got tore up there at the end. We were probably going to run fifth or sixth if we stayed out of trouble. It’s unfortunate, but we have a good No. 47 Kroger/SCOTT Products Chevrolet SS back-up car. It’s one that is just like this one that we raced in the Duel. We will tune it up for Sunday and get ready to go. On Friday, we are going to get the other car ready to race - - put the race motor in it, race transmission and everything. We’ll go out and make a couple single car runs with it and make sure all of our travels are set. We won’t draft with it at all. We will just line her up Sunday and race.”
“It looked like the top lane had a run on the No. 1 car (Jamie McMurray) and the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) got to him and the No. 1 car blocked the No. 48 and caused a big pileup," said Ernie Cope, director of competition. "AJ was running good. He was running sixth taking the white flag and they had the No. 1 hung out and AJ was in position to take a top-five finish. It would have been a great way to finish the Duels here. We worked hard on the car to improve it all week since we have been here. That’s the way it goes. That’s how this place is. That’s two accidents and neither one of them have been his doing. The back-up car is just as good as this car. We are going to be fine. We are going to get it together, get it out in practice and make sure everything is fine. We will check our travels. It will be ready to go for the 500. We probably won’t do the draft, but we’ll do some single car runs.”
Career Starts: 263
Pole Awards: 4
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Pole: 8/8/15 Watkins Glen
Best Start: 1 - 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Best Finish: 1 - 8/10/2014 Watkins Glen
Driver DOB: 12/16/1981
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Crew Chief: Randall Burnett
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