Texas Motor Speedway: "Texas Motor Speedway is definitely a bit of a mix between Atlanta (Motor Speedway) and Vegas (Las Vegas Motor Speedway)," Allmendinger said. "You can kind of look at it that way. Atlanta is bumpy and slick while Vegas has got a lot of grip in it. Texas is kind of right in the middle. It has some grip in it, but it definitely slickens up during the race. Hopefully, the stuff we have learned can transfer over for that race."
Mile-and-a-half program: “Last season, the first race at Texas Motor Speedway we were awful, but the second race we ran in the top-15 all race,” Allmendinger said. “After the first two mile-and-a-half tracks this season, I’m pumped up going there. With what we have already learned, it makes me more excited than I have probably been to go to Texas Motor Speedway knowing the speed that we’ve shown. The guys back at shop are working hard to keep improving our cars."
Upward and onward: “It's been tough because really up until the last three weeks I have never had an engine problem over really the first 40 races since doing the alliance last year,” Allmendinger said. “The guys at ECR have just been spot on with great horsepower, great reliance and just everything that you need in a motor. The last three weeks have been tough. So, they have worked hard on it. We went over the problems. Unfortunately, all three problems were kind of separate from Phoenix (International Raceway) to Fontana (Auto Club Speedway) to Martinsville (Speedway), but they have diagnosed all of it and are working hard and we think they have a solution heading into this weekend. It’s not good for anybody and it’s been disappointing for us to have problems three weeks in a row. Phoenix we got lucky because it happened in practice. Obviously, the last two weeks having it happen during the race, I think we finished 34th and then dead last at Martinsville. I try to take the positives out of it. We had a fast race car at Martinsville. We were battling inside the top five when it happened. At Fontana, even though it happened on Lap 8 or 9, we went from 20th to 10th in six laps. So, the cars are fast. I know the guys at ECR are working hard. They have had great horsepower. Hopefully, they have got the problem fixed. They felt so bad and I got so many phone calls from so many different people inside the ECR program and RCR in general to apologize to us. It’s not good for anybody. We will just look forward and go on to Texas.”
BUSH'S Beans: "It's nice to have BUSH'S Beans back on the car for Texas," Allmendinger said. "We had an mechanical problem at Martinsville Speedway and we were not able to finish the race. We're really focused on a strong finish for all of our amazing partners Saturday."
Silver lining: “Even though we have had misfortune with engine issues the last few weeks, the positive is that we have had a good car every race weekend,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “I feel like now we can run in the top-10 any track we go to. We are definitely more rounded this season.”
Noticeable improvement: “The guys did a lot of work in the off-season with getting a better grasp on bodies from car to car and now our fleet is updated a lot more,” Burns said. “From working with RCR, we have applied everything we learned from taking cars to the wind tunnel and receiving the aero data.”
Attributing success to people: “People are what makes our organization successful,” JTG Daugherty Racing owner Tad Geschickter said. “We’ve shown a lot of speed over the last several weeks and I feel like we are capable of finishing in the top-10 consistently now. We’ve really come on strong early in the season. Our biggest weakness last season was mile-and-a-half tracks and that has really changed this year, which makes me excited going into Texas Motor Speedway. I’m proud of all the effort these guys have put into this program. This is just the beginning of our journey and we will continue to push ourselves to excel for all of our sponsors.”
Chassis Number: “We are taking chassis 478 to Texas, the same one that we had at Atlanta Motor Speedway,” Burns said. “Actually, we have made some improvements to that car and expect to be stronger this time around.”
Testing Richmond: “We have a brand new car that has not been on track that we opted to bring to the Richmond (International Raceway) test,” Burns said. “We want to establish a good baseline setup and we will unload conventional. Come Richmond race weekend, when we unload on Friday, it will be a very productive day. We want to stay step ahead and the test will allow us too.”
Hoping the test helps: “We have some things we want to run through here during the test at Richmond International Raceway,” Allmendinger said. “So far, everywhere we have raced at this year we have had a pretty good package. We have had some good finishes. The last two weeks have kind of hurt a little bit. So, I think it’s more just trying to keep fine tuning. Last year, I looked at what we needed and it was a lot of big things. We didn’t have that pace that we wanted to on a consistent basis. This year we are up front more. Now, it’s just working on the little things and finding those things that can go out there and find those hundredths of a second that get you in the top 10 consistently. I’m really happy with where we are. It’s just always good to be able to come to tracks like Richmond and learn some stuff. We went to Vegas at the beginning of the year and did the tire test and that helped us there for the Vegas race. Hopefully, we can do the same here.”
R&R: “We work a lot and don’t get much down time,” Burns said. “We took advantage of Easter weekend. The road crew was off Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Most of them took time to be with friends and family. I just stayed home and relaxed with my family. I hung out with AJ one evening too. It was nice to relax and recharge to be ready for Texas.”
Career Starts: 233
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
A few ingredients can add up to a delicious dish! BUSH'S® Four-Layer Bean Dip recipe shows you how to turn BUSH'S® Beans and other ingredients you probably already have on hand into a tasty dip.
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Find the perfect recipe for each of our delicious beans. Click here for details!
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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Saturday, April 15th
4 PM JTG Daugherty Racing Sponsor Meet & Greets