It was a bittersweet day and maybe the one that got away. As Allmendinger was planted firmly in the top three with the leader in sight, he ran out of fuel coming around for his routine pit stop at lap 58.
The California-native maintained his focus and drove the wheels off the No. 47 SCOTT Products Toyota racing his way from 27th to bring home a top-10 finish during his third appearance with JTG Daugherty Racing.
JTG DAUGHERTY RACING QUOTES:
"I thought for sure we were easily a top four car," AJ Allmendinger said. "It was not as good as I wanted it and we were fighting with it being tight overall, but I felt like it would come to me on long runs. I do not know if we would have had anything for the No. 9 (Marcos Ambrose), but I thought we were as good as the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and 56 (Martin Truex Jr.). We obviously had passed the No. 56 on the long run.
"I don't know if it was a miscalculation on fuel or if we just got a bad reading compared to the first run with lap times being quicker," Allmendinger continued. "It is nobody's fault. We just ran out of fuel. From there it was just a fight. We did everything we could to get as much as we could. A top-10 is good, but we know we should have had more. We will just keep building on it.
"I love these guys," Allmendinger added. "It is a lot of fun working together. The cars are designed right, the pit crew was really good today. We will just keep fighting."
"It was our best finish of the season and we have to be pleased with that," co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "It takes a team like ours to run up there to find out what we can do to improve. We definitely learned some things that we need to improve on. That is a good thing and we will address those things. I think we have got the people and the equipment to run in the top 10 week in and week out. We have just got to keep pushing ourselves so we are doing it that way."
"We had a good car," competition director Bobby Hutchens said. "AJ did a really good job of driving it. We just did not get the fuel mileage we needed. We actually stopped a lap short from where we thought we needed to be and still ran out. We are pretty fortunate we had a caution come out then. We did not go a lap down there. We got a break.
"AJ did a good job of getting the SCOTT Products Toyota back through the field and missing a couple of those wrecks near the end," Hutchens continued. "It is a bittersweet thing. A top-10 is good and we fight hard for those. I really feel like we gave a win away. We had a good enough car and was close enough to the front. We were going to be P2 (second) or P3 (third) when the field cycled. We just did not get to where we needed to be. "
"AJ did a real good job of getting a top-10 finish for us, but I think everybody knows we definitely were better than that," crew chief Brian Burns said. "On one stop, we just fell a little short on fuel. We are still trying to figure out what happened there. That first reading was really good. These kind of things happen when you try to push it and get to the end there. Running good at Watkins Glen, definitely helps turn the boat around for us."
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Start: 6/16/2013 Michigan
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: Los Gatos, CA
Crew Chief: Brian Burns
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TAILGATER OF THE WEEK:
Tailgater of the Week goes to Ron McGeary from Palmyra, N.Y., who has been visiting Watkins Glen International for 24 years. He had prime real estate at the road course that made for a great tailgating spot. His Kingsford Charcoal, Kingsford Lighter Fluid and charcoal grill caught the attention of the JTG Daugherty Racing scouts.
"We have been coming here for 24 years because it is close to home and it is affordable," McGeary said. "We like the location. It is a good spot. We all went in together and bought a camper to use for this race. Our favorite thing to grill is Delmonico steaks and we do also like BUSH'S Beans on the side."
He admits Ryan Newman is his favorite driver, but he has been keeping an eye on AJ Allmendinger.
"He is doing really good this year performance wise," McGeary said. "AJ is a really good road racer."
Do you want to win an all expense paid trip and be the VIP guest of JTG Daugherty Racing at the big race in Las Vegas in 2014?
If you answered yes, then get out to the track and let us know where you are tailgating! Each race weekend during the Sprint Cup season JTG Daugherty Racing will be scouting the infields and campgrounds, looking for the best tailgaters at the track. The best, most enthusiastic tailgaters each race weekend will win a custom prize pack and become eligible for our “TAILGATER OF THE YEAR” competition.
You can let us know where you are tailgating by tweeting us your location. Throughout the weekend, leading up to the green flag, our team members, owners and maybe even Bobby Labonte himself will be patrolling the infield and campsites looking for the best tailgaters. So, fire up your grills with Kingsford® Charcoal, heat up a can of Bush’s® Grillin’ Beans and clean up your messes with Clorox® and Scott® Brand Products!
Simply follow us on Twitter @NASCAR47 , send us a tweet with your tailgate location and include the hash tag #TweetYourTailgate.
Monday, July 29th
AP, John Kekis, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
The Examiner, Connie Anne Kirk, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
Backyard Broadcasting, Chris P. Bacon, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
The Leader, Chris Gill, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
WFLW, Rick Hughey, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
Racing Words & Pictures, Bruce Bonham, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
YNN, Crystal Cranmore, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
WBNG, Gabe Osterhout, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
Star-Gazette, Ron Levanduski, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
Star-Gazette, Jason Whong, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
Star-Gazette, Mary Katherine Wildeman, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
WETM, Alex Cawley, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
The Daily Review & Express, WENY, Media availability with AJ Allmendinger at Watkins Glen
Friday, August 9
NASCAR.COM Garage Cam, AJ Allmendinger interviewed on camera by Matthew Dillner to kick off the show
SiriusXM Satellite, AJ Allmendinger interviewed by Dave Moody
Saturday, August 10
SPEED RaceHub, AJ Allmendinger interviewed by Miss Sprint Cup
MRN Radio, AJ Allmendinger interviewed after qualifying fourth
PRN Radio, AJ Allmendinger interviewed after qualifying fourth
SPEED, AJ Allmendinger interviewed after qualifying fourth
YNN, AJ Allmendinger interviewed after qualifying fourth
FOXSports.com, AJ Allmendinger quotes after qualifying fourth
NBC Sports, AJ Allmendinger out for the upset at Watkins Glen
Sunday, August 11
ESPN NASCAR Now, AJ Allmendinger interviewed by Shannon Spake and Ricky Craven
ESPN, Dave Burns interviewed crew chief Brian Burns during red flag