Date: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Event: Budweiser Duel 1
Finish: 7th (Finishing order update: No. 4 Penalty - Time Disallowed)
Starting position for the Daytona 500: 15th
***Daytona 500 is Sunday, February 23 on FOX, MRN and SIRIUSXM at 1 PM ET.
TEAM NOTES AND QUOTES:
AJ Allmendinger locked in his No. 47 Kroger/USO Chevrolet SS into the Daytona 500 by crossing the finish line in eighth-place during the Budweiser Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway Thursday night. Matt Kenseth won the 60-lap event followed by Denny Hamlin winning the second Duel. Allmendinger will start 15th in the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon.
"The Kroger/USO Chevrolet was pretty good in the first Duel," AJ Allmendinger said. "When I didn’t have somebody behind me, it felt like I needed a little help. I don’t know if that’s the same for everybody or not. There are a couple of really strong cars out there. Our car drove great all night. You were kind of waiting for everybody to make a move. I gave up a couple spots right there at the end. I did not know if I should go to the bottom and if somebody would go with me. The big positive here tonight is that we’re in the big show. We have got to fix the right front a little bit. Other than that we’ve got something to race with in the Daytona 500."
"The car was handling really well out there," Allmendinger said. "I felt like it was a little better on the top of the track speed-wise. It looked like there were only a few cars that could make the bottom go. We learned some stuff and we will be ready to go Sunday."
"The 47 guys have done so much to get us to where we are today," Allmendinger said. "We're in a good place with the new alliance with RCR (Richard Childress Racing) and having sponsors like Kroger on the car and all the great partners this season like BUSH’S Beans, Charter to name a few. I’m learning all the brands still. So, I’m going to go through as many of them as I can. Like Kingsford for instance, we’ve got them too if you want to grill out. Clorox, we’ve got that one too. There's so many and we are so fortunate. Overall, it was a good night. I’m always mad when I give up a couple spots at the end. I didn’t go to the bottom. I didn’t know if I should. The biggest thing was that we had to get ourselves in the show."
"With the old school rules like the top-15 going straight from the Duel, it's like we were right on the cusp," Allmendinger said. "We qualified 27th and were 31st in points. You think you’re in, but some crazy things can happen. We were smart there. I could have been more aggressive, but had to be smart."
"I love this group of guys at JTG Daugherty Racing," Allmendinger said. "It’s a big family already. Tad Geschickter, his wife Jodi and Brad Daugherty and everybody on this team make it a fun group to walk in the hauler every weekend. We’re going to do some great things this year."
"We're really pleased with how the Kroger/USO Chevrolet ran tonight," crew chief Brian Burns said. "We were in a little bit of conservative mode just to make the top-15 to make the big race on Sunday. It was just a technicality to get through today. We feel fortunate to have very minor damage on the race car. We have a good car that we know can move around easily and will be good for the 500."
"I believe it was the 98 that came down on AJ and got into the fender a little bit there and had a little tire rub," Burns said. "It could have been a lot worse, but AJ did a good job at avoiding something that could have been a big deal."
AJ Allmendinger has nine starts at Daytona International Speedway, one top-five and two top-10 finishes. His average start is 19.000 and his average finish is 24.444. He has led 15 laps. Allmendinger’s best finish at Daytona is third (2/15/09).
Career Starts: 192
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: 2 4/1/2012 Martinsville
Driver DOB: 12/16/1981
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Crew Chief: Brian Burns
The Kroger Co. Partners with the USO again this season:
Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,414 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.
Honoring Our Heroes, Kroger’s partnership with the USO, will continue in 2014. The Kroger Co. Family of Stores has donated $8.4 million to the USO since 2010 to help the USO carry out its mission - to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families around the world. For nearly 75 years, the USO is the only organization that serves the U.S. military throughout their service, from the moment they join, through their deployments and as they transition back to their communities.
For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com. To learn how you can help the USO please visit HonoringOurHeroes.com.
FAN OF THE WEEK:
Enter NOW for a chance to ride along with AJ Allmendinger during a race this season!
Each week, the JTG Daugherty Racing "#47 FAN OF THE WEEK" will have their photo featured on AJ's #47 car.
How do you use the Power of Bleach?
Submit a photo of yourself or your family demonstrating the Power of Bleach and share with us a Clorox clean-up success story in 100 characters or less and include the #47FANOFTHEWEEK hashtag!
The best fan photo submitted to us VIA Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram will be chosen the following Monday and will be featured on the #47 car the following weekend!
Send it to @NASCAR47 on Twitter and Instagram or JTGDaughertyRacing on Facebook
Saturday, February 22
9 AM to 9:20 AM CHEVY DISPLAY APPEARANCE Q&A FOR THE FANS
6 to 9 PM KROGER DINNER
Sunday, February 23
9:30 AM to 9:50 AM KROGER BRUNCH (BILL FRANCE SUITE IN DAYTONA USA)
10 AM to 10:20 AM FREIGHTLINER APPEARANCE (INSIDE TRACK)
10:30 AM JTG DAUGHERTY RACING MEET AND GREETS AT HAULER