Event: Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola
Date/Time: Saturday, July 2nd / 7:45 PM ET
TV/Radio: NBC / MRN / SIRIUSXM
Sponsors: "On the hood this holiday weekend at Daytona International Speedway, we've got Kroger back on board and also some awesome summer sponsors like Nestlé Drumstick and Outshine Snacks. Essentially, we have the Original Sundae Cone and some amazing fruit/veggie/yogurt bars backing us. So, when you get done grilling with your Kingsford Professional July 4th weekend, break out the Drumsticks and fruit bars. It's a party!"
Getting a handle on it: “Daytona is starting to change a little bit especially during the summer race,” Allmendinger said. “The track is starting to get a little bit slicker. So, handling is starting to play more of a role.”
Fight for position: “It’s still not old Daytona where you had to have the car handling really well, but it’s really the way the race plays out now," Allmendinger said. "It’s three wide and you’ve got to fight for track position almost early in the race. If you lose track position, it’s tough to get back up through the field because everybody gets three wide and there’s nowhere to go. That’s what makes it tough there.”
No time to wait: “You’re never really sure how to play out the race, but you can’t wait for 30 to go and make a move because there is nowhere to go once you do that,” Allmendinger said. “I think it’s probably more on edge than ever because you’ve got to be up there fighting I would say from lap 50 on to keep that track position.”
Car: “We are taking our primary Daytona 500 car that got wrecked in February during the 150s,” crew chief Randall Burnett said. “We fixed it back up and are taking it back to Daytona this time. We will probably run limited practice since we’ve been to Daytona and Talladega (Superspeedway) already. So, we will run minimal practice to make sure it drafts okay and sucks up okay for AJ. We just want to make sure he’s comfortable with the car and then put it in line for qualifying. We are really focused on making sure the car is going to drive good for the race. We’ll see what happens in qualifying and then we will get in the race and focus on putting our No. 47 Kroger/Nestle Drumstick/Outshine Chevy up front.”
Strategy: “Our strategy for Daytona is to bring more downforce and not be worried about qualifying,” director of competition Ernie Cope said. “We are going to get the car driving as good as we can for AJ. The track is starting to get worn out again. Cars are slipping and sliding more in July - - it’s three times as bad than February. We are going to really focus on the handling of the car and hopefully it will pay dividends especially on long runs. My thoughts are to get into the top five and stay in the top five. If you get stuck in the middle of the pack, about 15th or so, you are probably just better off to go to the back.”
Pulling together after Sonoma: “We are taking a look at everything from Sonoma (Raceway),” Burnett said. “We take a look at all the footage. We’ve got video of it so we can pick it apart and see where the breakdown was and see what happened. We will learn from our mistakes and that is the biggest thing. You have stuff like that happen every now and then. You look at the guys that are competing for wins and up front every weekend and they are minimizing their mistakes and that’s what we’ve got to work hard on. It’s just like AJ said, ‘We win as a team, we lose as a team.’ So, we are all pulling together, trying to learn from it and figure out what we can do to make it better and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Career Starts: 279
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
LIVE UPDATES FROM THE #47 TEAM:
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AJ Allmendinger Sponsor Appearances:
Saturday, July 2nd
JTG Daugherty Racing Sponsor Meet & Greets