DARLINGTON RACEWAY PREVIEW

Event: Bojangles' Southern 500
Date/Time: Sunday, September 4th / 6 PM ET 
TV Network/Radio: NBC / SIRUSXM / MRN 

Quotes:
New brand on hood: "We are very fortunate to have some of the biggest names associated with our team in NASCAR and this weekend we welcome Tyson and Ball Park on board thanks to our partnership with Kroger," Allmendinger said. "This is an extended weekend with Labor Day on Monday and we are definitely stocked up and ready for summer's last big BBQ!"

Team welcomes Bruce Hill and his crew: "We are throwing it back to the mid-70s with Bruce Hill's paint scheme on the No. 47 Kroger/Tyson Chevrolet SS and honoring him and his entire crew at Darlington," Allmendinger said. "Bruce made his first start in 1974 (11/24/74) and was rookie of the year in 1975. I think it's been over 30 years since they've been together. So, this is going to be a really cool deal. We're going to take a group photo at the car after driver intros. I'm looking forward to it."

Inspiration: “Darlington Raceway is another one of those tracks that I haven’t been really good at in the past,” Allmendinger said. “I know the car is going to be better and I’m hoping we unload pretty good. I’m going have to get back to it and figure the place out. It’s just a tough place. You know you are going to be in a long dog fight for 500 miles there. Hopefully, Bruce Hill and his gang can give us a little inspiration.”

An emotional weekend: “Leading up to Darlington Raceway’s Throwback weekend, it’s really been a cool deal since I got my original phone call and we started working on this thing,” Bruce Hill said. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but this has been good for me. Quite frankly, I had pushed a lot of memories into the background because I had to leave the sport not under my terms. This has been good for me and it gives me, in an odd way, some kind of closure. It’s also allowed me to think about it more positively now. My guys haven’t been together in 35 years and they are all excited and that makes me happy. They were a great bunch of guys and we got along great. We worked hard, but we also got along good. We made it fun, but raced hard. We’re all looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to seeing them. This is probably the last time we will see each other because we live in different parts of the country. When I first get there, I’ve got to watch my expectations. Darlington was one of my favorite tracks and I thought I ran better at Darlington than any other place on the circuit. I’ve heard AJ say his luck hasn’t been that good there. So, I need to watch my expectations and go with the flow and have fun with it. I’ll hope that just maybe AJ’s luck will be good this time. We would love to see that car and him run up front. It’s going to be kind of emotional when I see the paint scheme in person. When I just saw the photo of them putting the wrap on the car on Facebook, I got a little emotional. I was kind of surprised because I’m not normally an emotional person. Of course, it just goes to show what racing means to a racer. It’s brought back a whole lot of memories and I’ve met some new friends at JTG Daugherty Racing. They’ve all been such a great group of people even the guys I met at Kansas Speedway on the crew. They are just really, really good guys. I came away from there really impressed with everybody. I’m looking forward to it and I know my guys are too. I think it is going to be fun.”  
Darlington's special: “I love Darlington and it’s such a cool place to watch them bail off into Turn 1 and slide right up to the wall and be right up against it,” crew chief Randall Burnett said. “It’s such a unique track. It’s one of my favorite places to go and I wished we went there a couple times a year. I think it’s about the coolest racetrack we go to all year long. I put that track right up there with Bristol (Motor Speedway) and Martinsville (Speedway), which are also a couple of my favorites well. That place just has so much history.”
Taking it back to the old school:  “Darlington’s going to be a fun weekend,” Burnett said. “We’ve got the Throwback paint scheme of Bruce Hill’s car. It looks really good with Kroger and Tyson on the hood too. Bruce and his whole crew are coming down to take part in all that and I think it’s the first time in over 30 years they’ve all been together. So, it’s pretty special for them for so many reasons. It will be a memorable weekend for them and for us.”
Fun to see: “Darlington does a great job with the Throwback and I really like all the paint schemes that I’ve seen,” Burnett said. “It’s pretty cool to see the old Alan Kulwicki one and the Davey Allison one because those are the guys I watched as a kid.”
Solid weekend: “We’re banking on a good run because we’ve been working hard on our cars,” Burnett said. “We’ve got a great car going there. We’ll do our part and get a good setup on it. Hopefully have a good run.”



FAST FACTS:
Career Starts: 287
Wins:            1
Top-fives:     9
Top-10s:      43
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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