MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Event:  Firekeepers Casino 400
Date/Time: Sunday, June 12 / 1 PM ET
TV/Radio: FS1 / MRN Radio / SIRIUSXM

Quotes:
Primary sponsors for Michigan International Speedway: "Kroger is front and center for Michigan along with Crisco and Hungry Jack," Allmendinger said. "Talking about those brands makes me hungry. I love pancakes and I'm becoming quite a good griddlemaster.  I prefer my pancakes plain with a little Hungry Jack syrup on top. We're looking forward to a fun weekend in Michigan with the brands."

Michigan: “Michigan International Speedway has gotten a good bit wider,” Allmendinger said. “I think we’re seeing better racing. It’s become slicker especially if the weather there is warmer for the most part. It definitely gets slickened up. So, the racing has gotten better and better there. It’s still a little bit on the edge because you only get widened out so much and you get all that dust and you kind of start playing that guessing game of, ‘Okay, how far can I get the right side tires out into the dirt and still have grip?' At those speeds, if it doesn’t have grip, you are going for a wild ride.

Practice sessions: "Practice is tough because it doesn’t get that wide," Allmendinger said. "Then whether it’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or NASCAR Xfinity Series or ARCA Racing Series out there, that widens the groove out before we get out there on Sunday. It’s been better racing like I've said before, but it still takes a while to get widened out.”  

Race package:  “It’s just one of those things where we don’t know much about the race package (aerodynamic changes) since we haven’t tested it at all,” Allmendinger said. "I’ve kind of read about it. I don’t think anybody knows. It’s going to be based on what tire Goodyear brings. I think they (NASCAR) are trying to do it for the right reasons. Around some of these places, especially more of the repaved racetracks, cornering speeds are almost as high as the straightaway speeds even though we have been taking downforce away. NASCAR is trying to do the right thing to get us out of the throttle a little bit more around those types of places like a Michigan. Also, Kentucky Speedway is going to be fast after the repave. I don’t think we are going to know until we get out there and test to know what we are going to feel. I promise we think we know what we are supposed to feel and then when they drop the green and 39 cars are around us and we are going to go, 'Holy moly this feels way different.' So, it’s a wait and see game I guess.”

Michigan and Kentucky: “After we leave Michigan, we will go to Kentucky Speedway and test there for two days (Monday and Tuesday) with that same low downforce package that we will be racing at Michigan, in preparation for the Kentucky race on the new surface," crew chief Randall Burnett said. "We will be there for a couple days and then we will come home and work hard on our Sonoma Raceway stuff. We’ve got an off weekend in there. The guys will take a few days off and spend some time with family and get some much needed rest. We’ll work real hard on our Sonoma car and get it ready to go. We are really looking forward to that race. There won’t be much downtime for us, but we will try to get a little bit of rest.”

Four and five wide: "Michigan is a unique track as in there are four or five lanes that are usable throughout the day," spotter Coleman Pressley said. "You might be able to find some grip up top. There will also be some all the way at the bottom. Making sure AJ's clear four or five lanes off the corner is always crucial. The new package is such an unknown. I’m not sure how you are going to have to adjust your race strategy as far as how much tires you should save versus how fast you should go early. So, that will be something I will monitor throughout the race - - just seeing how guys attack each run on the racetrack and making sure we have the best possible package."

Next few weeks: “After our race at Michigan, we’ve got a two-day test at Kentucky Speedway,” Allmendinger said. “Then it’s a little bit of a vacation with a little bit of golf. I’m going to Pebble Beach and then on to Sonoma just in time for practice on Friday. It’s a busy few weeks with a little fun in between.”

Sonoma around the corner: "I love Sonoma Raceway," Allmendinger said. "It's a special place. You try not to have any race be more special than others, but I would love to go there and win a race. Beggars can't be choosers, but it's a hometown race for me and one of my biggest sponsors The Clorox Company. We'll be carrying their Kingsford Professional Briquets on the hood of the No. 47. It's where I grew up so it would be a very big deal if I won there. It would be pretty special."

“Sonoma Raceway is a place where the last two years we’ve been really fast, but have had some bad luck, or self-induced luck,” Allmendinger continued. “We've been fast enough the last few races. However you want to look at it, we haven’t gotten the job done. Sonoma and Watkins Glen International (the circuit’s only other road course) were always the races that we circled on the calendar to know that those are going to be the chances to win to get in the Chase.”

FAST FACTS:
Career Starts: 277
Wins:            1
Top-fives:     8
Top-10s:      41
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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