Talladega Superspeedway: “Talladega Superspeedway is one of those races where mentally you are just hoping to get through it and finish because anything can happen,” Allmendinger said. “You try to put yourself in the best position possible. There’s no real perfect strategy to miss the 'Big One.' I think the best thing you can do as a driver is just go out there, have a fast race car and stay up front all race and hope luck is on your side. Being up front, you can miss some of the wrecks and get all your sponsors and manufacturer some TV time. So, that’s my deal, is to run up front at Talladega.”
Chess match: “Talladega is physically the easiest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, but mentally it is the hardest like Daytona (International Speedway),” Allmendinger said. “It is a mentally taxing three hours and everyone is so close. However, Daytona is three lanes wide and at the end of the race it can get four. It’s narrow and you don’t really have to guard. Talladega is four to five to six lanes wide and you don’t know what side the pack is coming on and you don’t know how many cars wide. By the end of the race, you are mentally worn out.”
Bravery and commitment: “He’s definitely elbows out when it comes to driver’s skills and courage and especially at a place like Talladega,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “We’ve talked about it before going to Talladega. Every time you go to a superspeedway, you have to figure out what your strategy is. Some people want to lay back and ride behind the pack and keep it clean and try to avoid the wreck and those same people end up getting in a wreck sometimes or you can say we are going to run up front all day and end up in a wreck as well. I don’t know if there is a particular strategy that’s more successful. We have made a collective decision this weekend that our sponsors pay good money and we are going to try to run up front the whole time and not worry about strategy and show them what we’ve got.”
The past is in the past: “We have a top-five finish there, but you can’t look at any of your past statistics because every single race there is different,” Allmendinger said. “It doesn’t matter where you finished last time or any time to be honest. We just have to go out there and not make any mistakes. Things happen in a hurry there. I just know we will have a lot of good energy going into this race because of our announcement that Kroger will have a huge presence on the car for multiple years. It’s big for team morale.”
Paint a picture: “I just try to paint as good of a picture as possible to let him know what is behind him, which lane is moving and let him focus on what is out in front of him,” spotter Coleman Pressley said. “He can see what is happening in front of him and which lane is moving. I just try to tell him when the run is coming from behind. When it comes down to the end, I try to get him in the right line to move towards the front. At Daytona, the strategy was to hang back, avoid the big wreck and then go towards the front. With the new rules package, it makes it really hard. You start making your run to the front and then you just stall. I think it is very important to position yourself the last three-quarters of the race toward the front and then go into defensive mode. However, our strategy is to run up front all race."
Shake it off: “We’ve had some pretty bad luck to start the year,” Burns said. “Our big focus was to be consistent from race to race. For the most part, we have done that as an organization. We have just had some demons bite us. We had a few motor issues early in the season, but ECR is definitely on top of that and taking care of that for us. We have been getting some bad luck being a part of some other debacles out there. AJ is doing a good job of trying to avoid it, but sometimes it just happens.”
Versatility: “What I’m most happy for this season is that I don’t feel like we are a one trick pony,” Burns said. “Maybe in the past, our forte has been a couple of the short tracks and obviously with AJ as our driver we always look forward to the road courses. This year I feel like anywhere we show up we have made ourselves a well-rounded team and run respectably. We are versatile. I think I’m most proud of that. To be a part of a championship contending team or to even enter The Chase, you have to have that in your arsenal to be competitive.”
Running better this year: “Obviously, we have circled the road courses, but the way we have unloaded this year at some of these places it’s a big boost of confidence that we can win any one of these things we show up at and that’s attributed to the RCR alliance,” Burns said. “I’ll say there’s maybe only been one racetrack (Texas Motor Speedway) where we felt like we totally missed the setup.”
Have you seem him: “Brad Daugherty is definitely a little busier with TV stuff right now, but throughout the weekend we get a lot of text messages from him,” Burns said. “He’s definitely watching over us from a distance and trying to keep up with everything. He still shows up quite a bit at the shop. He will heckle us on the weekends when we are not running well and he will motivate us when we are.”
Career Starts: 236
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
CALL IT A COMEBACK:
CALL IT A COMEBACK:
Consumers spoke and Hungry Jack® listened. This summer, we’re bringing back the microwaveable 27.6 oz syrup bottles. Get your microwaves ready!
To learn more about our products, including NEW Funfetti® Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix and NEW Butter Pecan Flavored Syrup, visit www.hungryjack.com or www.facebook.com/hungryjack.
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 Hungry Jack car.
Click HERE to visit the download page.
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Saturday, May 2nd
Freightliner dinner appearance
Sunday, May 3rd
9:30 AM JTG Daugherty Racing Sponsor Meet & Greets