Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Event: Geico 500
Race Date / Time: Sunday, October 19 / 2 PM ET
TV / Radio: ESPN / MRN / SIRIUSXM
Summarizing Talladega in one word: “Insanity,” Allmendinger said.
On edge: “Our last race there, we finished fifth,” Allmendinger said. “Basically, I went with the strategy that if I was up front, I tried to stay up front. If I got shuffled to the middle, I just bailed out and went to the back. Honestly, I don’t think there is going to be a right or wrong. I think a lot of guys will be on edge. For those guys trying to make it to the next round in the Chase, it’s going to be real edgy. So, you’ve got to do what feels best at that time - in the moment. If we can get up front, I’ll run up front. If not, I’ll to try to ride around for a while until it's time to go.”
Under pressure: “There’s going to be huge amounts of pressure for the Chase drivers,” Allmendinger said. “I wish we were feeling it. To barely miss it, it was disappointing. As we speak right now (before the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway), look at the guys that are outside the top-eight and that’s six-time (Jimmie Johnson), Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Brad Keselowsi. They are three of the guys that have been some of the fastest all year. If it stays like that, there’s going to be a lot of pressure for them.”
The Big One: “Hopefully, if something big happens – the Big One – and we miss it, we have a shot to win the thing,” Allmendinger said.
Consistency: “There are going to be so many different plans for teams going into this race,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “The guys on the bubble are going to be swinging for the fence trying to win a race, which makes potential accidents. We just have to avoid them."
Fresh car: “Our Talladega Superspeedway car is one that we have had as a backup car this year,” Burns said. “We haven’t raced it and I don’t know that it has ever been raced. It was a backup car at Richard Childress Racing that we bought. It’s a fresh car for us.”
Keep it under cover: “It will be a normal superspeedway weekend for us,” Burns said. “We will make minimal laps. We just need to make sure the car feels good in the draft. We will keep the cover over it so we don’t wreck it.”
Playing it safe: “We do not put much into qualifying at Talladega because we would hate to go out there and make some crazy move for a qualifying spot and wreck the car or the whole field,” Burns said. “It’s not a bad thing to start in the back there because you can easily make it to the front.”
Leader of the pack: “Everybody says they want to try to miss the 'Big One,' but the way our driver feels about it - along with myself - is that every car you are in front of, it’s one less car that you have to worry about wrecking in front of you," Burns said. "If you can run in the top-10 all day long, that is a lot fewer cars you have to worry about checking up behind a wreck.”
Team goals: "Our deal for the remaining races is to finish solid and overachieve at the end of the season," Burns said. "We are looking to be in the top-10 in the championship points standings, but to do that we have to be consistent each race.”
Career Starts: 222
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
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Sunday, October 19th
10:10 to 10:20 AM Freightliner Meet & Greets
10:30 AM JTG Daugherty Racing Meet & Greets at Hauler