Martinsville Speedway: “Mentally you prepare for 500 laps around Martinsville and you can do 490 laps perfect and get taken out with 10 laps to go and just ruin your day,” Allmendinger said. “Hopefully we go there and keep working on our short track program, which has been our strongest suit since I joined JTG Daugherty Racing.”
Get into the groove: “Martinsville is a place I have run well at recently,” Allmendinger said. “I don’t know if I get pumped up to go or not because you know when you get there it’s going to be such a grind. It’s a tough place. It’s a rhythm place. You have got to get the No. 47 BUSH’S Beans Chevrolet SS rolling good in the center and have some forward drive. Before, you needed a lot of forward drive and if you didn’t have it you were done. Now, forward drive won’t be as much of an issue with the power. However, you are not going to know until race day when you are 40 laps into the run because most of your runs are 25 to 30 laps during practice. Mentally, you prepare for a grind all day. You can easily get frustrated and get out of a rhythm, which can put yourself in a bad position for track position when you do. When you do get into a rhythm you do enjoy it. You know it’s going to be a long day and you have got to be patient.”
Best chance for victory: “Last year I would have said it was the short tracks,” Allmendinger said. “This year, I feel like our mile-and-a-half program has gotten a lot better. It’s not quite where the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) or the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) is yet. If we just keep getting better, any track we can make it. We showed last year that even though it was a road course, it’s still tough to win the races. If we go out there and we’re at our best, we can run up front. So, I don’t really pick one race track. I look at every weekend. I go with the same mindset. We go do our job and we give ourselves the best opportunity to go win that we can. We’ve just got to keep doing that.”
A favorite for JTG Daugherty Racing: "Martinsville Speedway is our bread and butter," crew chief Brian Burns said. "It's a track that we are really comfortable with. Not too much has changed since last time. We expect to have a good run there."
Pit crew: “This year our pit crew has done an awesome job,” Allmendinger said. "I just hate that our jackman went down at Phoenix International Raceway with a calf injury, but he’s done a great job to step up the pit crew. Last year, there were a lot of times we were running up front and we weren’t as quick as we needed to be in the pits, and it’s so critical. He’s worked so hard to develop our pit crew. They have all worked so hard and it shows. So, we’re getting better as a whole.”
Nothing but love: “It’s the friendship of this race team, the family atmosphere, the camaraderie that I love and it starts with Tad and Jodi Geschickter and Brad Daugherty and it carries through,” Allmendinger said. “We know we have to work harder to compete against the Hendricks and the Penskes and those teams, but I really enjoy it. I love walking into the shop and knowing everybody’s name. I love being tight with my race team. I think the guys enjoy it because they know they have a big hand in this race team from the fab shop, to the engineering side, to the front office, the marketing side of it so when we won at Watkins Glen International last year everybody had such a big hand in it."
What a difference a year makes: “I try not to get too excited about it, but we have definitely improved from where we were last year,” Allmendinger said. “The first four races, two of them being on mile-and-a half tracks we ran well, and that was kind of our weakness last year.”
Overall performance: “I’m real proud of the team so far,” Allmendinger said. “The RCR alliance, as a whole, from the No. 78 (Martin Truex Jr), the No. 31 (Ryan Newman), Casey Mears, the No. 13 car and so on, as a group, all of us are running better. There is a lot of hard work that has gone into it on all sides. My guys have worked hard. We’ve got new cars this year and Brian Burns (crew chief) in his third full year as a crew chief, but our second year working together, everything is coming together. We had a mechanical problem last week at Auto Club Speedway, but we look to rebound at Martinsville. Hopefully we have a solid weekend.”
Off week: "I'm going for a couple days to Nebraska with my girlfriend (Tara Meador)," Allmendinger said. "She's from there and she's got a lot of family still there. We'll probably check out Lincoln and Omaha. Then I'll come back to North Carolina. It's nice to have a weekend off to hang out, relax and play some golf."
Career Starts: 232
Pole Awards: 2
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Pole: 4/22/2012 Kansas
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: Brian Burns
BUSH’S® BEANS RECIPE MATH:
A few ingredients can add up to a delicious dish! BUSH'S® Beans Recipe Math shows you how to turn BUSH'S® Beans and other ingredients you probably already have on hand into tasty dips, appetizers and dinners in just minutes.
Need a quick appetizer? Try this crowd-pleasing salsa, with BUSH'S Great Northern Chili Beans and canned tomatoes.
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Each week throughout the NASCAR season Racing-Rewards members are given the opportunity to download exclusive AJ Allmendinger cellphone wallpaper. This week's design design features AJ and his BUSH'S Beans car.
Click HERE to visit the download page.
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SUNDAY, MARCH 29
10:30 AM JTG DAUGHERTY RACING MEET & GREETS