Aggressive with Dover: “Dover International Speedway is one of my all-time favorite tracks and a lot of it comes down to the fact that it is a track you can be aggressive at with just the way it’s designed - - the banking and everything,” Allmendinger said. “I have had an enjoyment factor out of all the tracks that you can be the most aggressive at and attack the race track. That’s the way I grew up with anything I drove. I’ve always been aggressive. I took to Dover pretty quick and really had a few good years there. Every time I was in a car there, I felt competitive. Over time the characteristics changed, but the place is still pretty consistent as to how the track changes. I have a good feel for that place.”
Fortunate to be in this position: “I feel fortunate about being 10th in the points heading into Dover,” Allmendinger said. “We haven’t been at our best to be in that position. Last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, was a good fight out of the team. We fought hard all day. Honestly, 13th was disappointing because we ran better at the end of the race and it didn’t play out."
This weekend: "Going into this weekend, I would say that I am not trying to think about it and have all that pressure of advancing to the Contender Round," Allmendinger said. "Things aren’t different for us this weekend. My goal would be no different than if we were 20-something in the points. We just have to have a solid weekend. We haven’t put together a good weekend from start to finish in a while. We have pieced it together and at times have had a good result. Sometimes the first part of weekend is good and the second is not. We need a good overall weekend. I don’t care what’s going on around me and where Ryan Newman or Greg Biffle or any of those guys are. If we handle our business like we are capable of, we should be in.”
Reality sets in: “I got home last night and all the sudden it started hitting me that we have a shot to advance,” Allmendinger said. “I don’t know, the outlook is different, we can make it now. If we did, it would be good publicity for our sponsors, who have supported our team for such a long time.”
Where the focus lies: “We just have to focus on us,” Allmendinger said. “We know what is around us. We know it’s a lot of great teams. This is what we have to do to keep going. We have got to make no mistakes. You know we didn’t run very good at Chicagoland Speedway and we maximized a 22nd-place finish. This past weekend, I thought we were a little bit better. We were not great in the race, but we maximized a 13th-place finish. We are going to need teams to make mistakes around us. We’ve just got to go to Dover - one of my favorite places - and focus on us and wherever that puts us, it puts us.”
Ideal track: “Dover International Speedway is an ideal place for the final race of the first round to try to advance,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “We knew we needed to come away with a respectable finish at Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway) to have a shot. Momentum is a big deal for any team. We feel like we needed that going into this weekend. Fortunately for us, Dover is one of AJ’s favorite tracks. We had a really good car there last time. A lot of things that we have learned since then will help us unload better. We are taking car 438, which is our Chicago (Chicagoland Speedway) car. It’s a newer chassis version, which should definitely be a gain at a heavy load track like Dover. Our strategy is quite simple, qualify good, stay out of trouble, be solid all day long.”
Homework: “For Dover, we need to do our homework and come out even stronger than we did at Loudon,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “You have drivers that feel confident at certain places more than others and Dover is a place where AJ has had a lot of success in his career - - maybe not always the finishes. We had good speed there in the spring and we have some good notes to start with this time around. Our goal is to be one of the 12 that advance to the Contender Round. We’ve got the driver to do it.”
AJ Allmendinger has led 152 laps and has three top-10 finishes in 13 starts at Dover International Speedway. His best finish is seventh-place (twice). His average start is 14.462 and his average finish is 22.769.
Career Starts: 219
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
TOP-16 DRIVER POINTS:
(1) Brad Keselowski 2,097
(2) Joey Logano 2,096
(3) Kevin Harvick 2,090
(4) Jimmie Johnson 2,080
(5) Kyle Busch 2,077
(6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2,077
(7) Jeff Gordon 2,070
(8) Matt Kenseth 2,057
(9) Carl Edwards 2,057
(10) AJ Allmendinger 2,056
(11) Kasey Kahne 2,055
(12) Ryan Newman 2,055
(13) Denny Hamlin 2,049
(14) Greg Biffle 2,049
(15) Kurt Busch 2,047
(16) Aric Almirola 2,045
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FAN OF THE WEEK:
Last week we selected Tiffanie Zimbelman as #47FanOfTheWeek contest and she will have her photo featured on AJ Allmendinger's Hungry Jack car at Dover this weekend.
Who wants to have their photo ride along on AJ Allmendinger’s #47 Clorox car during the race at Kansas Speedway next week?
Send us your best AJ/#47 photos and show us how much you support AJ and the JTG Daugherty Racing team as we race into the Chase for the Sprint Cup!
The fan submitting our favorite entry will win #47FanOfTheWeek and will have their photo placed on AJ’s #47 Clorox car for the race at Kansas next weekend.
Submit a photo showing your support of AJ and the #47 team to the @NASCAR47 Twitter page or JTG Daugherty Racing on Facebook and include the #DINGERNATION and #MYCHASENATION hashtags.
Thursday, September 25th
6:30 to 7:30 PM ACME Autograph Session
Address: 1001 N Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901
Friday, September 26th
9:30 to 9:45 AM NASCAR Media Availability in Dover Media Center
8:30 to 9 PM Dover Downs Casino Guest on SiriusXM w/Claire B. Lang
Saturday, September 27th
9:30 to 9:45 AM ACME Meet & Greets in Coach Lot
Sunday, September 28th
11:30 AM Sponsor Meet & Greets at Hauler