Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Events: Sprint Showdown / NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
Showdown Date / Time: Friday, May 16th / 7 PM ET
Showdown TV / Radio: FOX SPORTS 1 / MRN / SIRIUSXM
All-Star Date / Time: Saturday, May 17th / 9 PM ET
All-Star TV / Radio: FOX SPORTS 1 / MRN / SIRIUSXM
Showdown: “It is always interesting and a fun race and this weekend we are proud to have Freighliner and Miller on board,” Allmendinger said. “We will go out there in practice and I think it will be the same thing we have seen at a lot of these mile-and-a-half tracks. I think our first practice is around noon or so. Our first time out, there will be a ton of grip on the track and we will be flying around that place. The second practice, the track will start to get slick. Charlotte Motor Speedway is known to be one of the most sensitive tracks when it comes to heat and temperature in general. I think the track will slicken up and then qualifying will be really fast. The Showdown is really something because you do those 20 laps and you see where your car is and see where you are on the track and that determines if you want to pit, stay out and take a chance to start up front with no tires. You think you have got a good enough car or you have to make changes to your car to try to run up into the top two. So, it makes it interesting. I hate to say that I’ve been in the Showdown every year, but I have raced my way into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star a couple times and hope to do the same Friday night.”
A win and runner-up: “It is how practice goes and what you feel you have going into the race,” Allmendinger said. “It’s really determined during the first 20-lap segment. I have done it both ways when I have raced my way in. I stayed out the year I won the race in 2008 driving for Red Bull. I was running third and thought my car was pretty good. If I could get it in clean air, I knew I could go and win the thing and that happened. In 2012, I was on the pole and had a flat tire before the green so I followed the pace car down and panic set in right away. You run that first 20 and you say, 'If I get up front, do I have a car to win this thing' and maybe you stay out. If your car is not handling right, you have got to pit. You try not to panic during that race and you try to make the best decisions possible. God willing that day if it’s meant to happen, then you go make it happen. If not, you hope the fans have thought it’s your day and they vote you in.”
Dinger to do the worm for Sprint Fan Vote: “For everybody that missed it, I already stated to Miss Sprint Cup that if I get voted into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, I will come out and do the worm on stage for the fans,” Allmendinger said. “And I mean, who doesn’t want to see a driver come out and do the worm across the stage and have a good time? That’s what I’m all about. You’ve got to have fun with it. If we get voted into the NASCAR All-Star race, it makes it worth it because it is from the fans. It’s something special when you get voted in by the fans because that is what runs the sport. I will have some fun with it and I will definitely do the worm across the stage. First, I hope I race my way in, but if not I have got to have the backup plan and hopefully the fans are behind me. If you want to have some fun, we will have some fun on Saturday night. You don’t even have to pay for it, all you have to do is vote and you will see it. Voting is unlimited on NASCAR Mobile and at NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote. If you go to the NASCAR mobile app, those votes count double. So, just double it up all day. While you are sitting there, you could be on the computer or on the phone doubling my votes. Hit my name several times just click, click, click, click. Heck, take the day off from work and just vote for me because I’ll do the worm.”
Continuing to grow: “We are always learning as a small team,” Allmendinger said. “It makes it tough to have a race like we did at Kansas Speedway because the last few weeks we had top 10s and then a top-five at Talladega Superspeedway. We’ve been fast at lot of places. We know in our hearts and I know especially there are going to be weekends where we struggle. We don’t want them, but it’s just part of it. It’s the nature of the sport. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is just so tough right now. The competition level is so deep. We are always learning and we are going to go into the All-Star race weekend with a couple of ideas to try. They may work or they may not and we might really struggle at the All-Star race if we make it in or we may really hit on something. Luckily, with the RCR (Richard Childress Racing) alliance and all the tools we have, we can learn from it. We are going into this weekend with some new ideas to try for the Coca-Cola 600 too.”
Kansas Speedway recap: “It was just one of those weekends,” Allmendinger said. “Track position was key and we struggled with qualifying. The mile-and-a-half tracks are our struggles. Kansas Speedway was a track where you have to have the most downforce and most grip in the race car especially with the way these cars have been lately. We are lacking a little bit there. I need to figure out how to be better at getting around these places. To me, it’s changed a little bit with these new cars compared to the old cars. As a team, last weekend was just a whole learning experience and just a tough weekend all around. Probably at the end of the race, I was trying to get too much out of it and was really racing hard to get back on the lead lap and trying to make something out of the night. I got loose under the No. 27 (Paul Menard) and unfortunately took out everybody that was behind me as I was spinning and I am just thankful Justin and especially David are okay because that was a big hit. I never wanted that to happen.
“We’ve struggled a lot with qualifying at the mile-and-a-half tracks,” Allmendinger continued. “We as a whole group missed it and starting 30th was tough and unfortunately the No. 4 car (Kevin Harvick) was blistering fast. He would lap me in 24 laps and then from there it was an uphill battle. We made little gains on the car, but basically the third pit stop we made a huge stab at it and it didn’t make a huge difference. We made the car a little bit better, but it wasn’t a big gain. So, I knew at that point we were kind of in for a long night and I was trying to do everything I could to make more out of it than we had. I just made a mistake really and got loose. From the second pit stop on, I knew where we were as a race team that night and I knew it probably wasn’t going to happen. Momma said there would be days like that, basically.”
Career Starts: 201
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
VOTE FOR AJ!
The Sprint Fan Vote top-10 was revealed on Monday and JTG Daugherty Racing driver AJ Allmendinger is among the 10 finalists.
Through the Sprint Fan Vote, fans can cast their ballots an unlimited number of times to help determine the starting lineup for the prestigious NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a starting spot in the annual event worth a $1 million payday.
We are asking for your help to vote AJ Allmendinger and the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team into the Sprint All-Star race. Please visit NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote and vote for AJ!
We have a fun contest for this week's #47FanOfTheWeek!
SEND US YOUR SELFIE!
Selfie's are all the rage this year and we thought we would get in on the fun, so fire up your cell phones, strike a pose and send us your selfie. Our favorite shot will be selected as the #47FanOfTheWeek and the winner will have their image placed on AJ Allmendinger's car for next weekend's race, the Coca-Cola 600, Memorial Day weekend.
You can tweet your entries to us at @NASCAR47 or you can post them to the JTG Daugherty Racing Fan Page on Facebook.
Have fun, be creative and good luck!
Friday, May 16
JTG Daugherty Racing sponsor meet and greets.
Freightliner meet and greets.