New Hampshire: “I’ve really enjoyed New Hampshire Motor Speedway over the years,” Allmendinger said. “It is definitely a track position kind of track. It’s a tough place because you really have to get the thing to roll the center, but forward drive off is really critical there. It gets really slick. It’s a fine line between making sure the No. 47 Better Than Bouillon Chevrolet SS turns and doesn’t lose forward drive off. The first couple years there I had to really figure out the place. I wasn’t that good at it. Then I kind of got the rhythm of it. Since then, it is kind of one of those places that I know what I want the car to feel and I know how to work on those key aspects of the car during practice. The last couple of races there, I feel like we have been decent. There are definitely areas that we can improve on, but overall it is always a fun place to go to. It’s kind of that short track feel that I enjoy.”
Get stronger: "Our ultimate goal every weekend for this race team is to go win the race, but where we are at right now is a progression stage," Allmendinger said. "We are trying to get better. We got off the path the last eight weeks and then Sonoma (Raceway) was heartbreaking because I thought we had a great shot to win that race. If we win a race and we are in The Chase and it’s meant to happen that’s great, but right now it’s all about trying to build this team and get stronger. I don’t worry about points and I don’t worry about trying to make it into The Chase. I"m trying not to look too far ahead. Right now, I just worry about trying to get better and going to Loudon (N.H.). If we do our jobs, if we find the speed and have a chance to win, then great. It’s all about getting the best finish possible, learning and building this race team."
Passion: "I care about this team so much and I'm always trying to perform my absolute best for the team owners, the team and our sponsors and when you have a bad race weekend it’s so tough not think about it," Allmendinger said. "You think, 'What did I do wrong, what could I have done better' and all this stuff, but at some point you have got to just switch that mindset off of racing and say I’ll figure it out when I get back to the track on Friday. There is a fine line between not thinking about it enough and overdoing it and it’s probably a line I haven’t quite figured out yet. This is the longest sporting year there is for any professional sport series. So, you have to get away and have fun when you can."
Heart: "My crew guys make this a lot of fun and I love my guys," Allmendinger said. "We are in this together with the ups and downs of this sport. We all want the same thing. Of course, we want to win. I have such a good group of guys. When we are able to get away from the racetrack together we go and have a good time or even here at the racetrack when we separate ourselves for a minute from what is going on. We have a lot of fun with each other."
Busy schedule: “It’s been a busy couple weeks and it’s one of those things where we are fortunate to have so many sponsors and it’s cool that we’ve been in markets near their headquarters,” Allmendinger said. “At Sonoma, it was great to be able to go to The Clorox Company and hang out with everyone there and at least have a good shot to win the race before we had a problem. Then at Kentucky (Speedway), it was Kroger’s experience to be a home race and we did a lot of cool things and it’s great that they are so excited about our sport and team. I’ll return to the Cincinnati market next week to throw out the first pitch during Reds Racing Night presented by Kroger with Brad (Daugherty) as my catcher.
“This Tuesday, we are heading to Bristol Motor Speedway for their victory tour,” Allmendinger continued. “It’s also a home market for one of our sponsors, BUSH’S Beans. It’s good to do and I have three victory tours this season because I won a race. We’ll have some fun and hit some golf shots at the track. Auto Club Speedway was the same way and it was enjoyable. Bristol's Saturday night race is one of the best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races because the place is packed, a cool atmosphere and a way different feel from the Spring race.”
Golf hobby: “It’s like my racing, it’s up or down,” Allmendinger said. “It’s kind of like my laps on the racetrack. Every third lap I get it right. Every third golf ball I hit, I smash it. But really, it’s something I got into about five or six years ago. I tried to fight against it when I was at Red Bull and I had a couple crew guys that really liked it. They got me going. Over the last two-and-a-half years, I have really got into it and I bought a house in December on the golf course. I’m completely addicted to it. To me, I look at golf a lot like racing. In the end it comes down to the mental aspect. But, with golf, you just have this little white ball that sits there and laughs at you and you are supposed to hit it. All joking aside, I really enjoy it. I have a lot of fun going out there with my buddies and us just challenging each other and having a good time. Every now and then I will go out and golf with Michael (Waltrip) and Denny (Hamlin), but their stakes are a lot higher than mine. There are a lot of people in the NASCAR industry that like to golf. My dad always taught me, if you are not going to be good at it, just look good doing it. It goes along with you having to look good to feel like you are going to play good.”
Time away from the track: "On the race weekends, we get a little time away from the track," Allmendinger said. "Something I really enjoy about being on my race team is the relationship I have with the owner Tad (Geschickter) and there’s a lot of Fridays we get done or an early Saturday and we find ourselves at a golf course and just hanging out. Some of the states we go to like a Texas or a Kansas, where there is a lot of stuff around the race track, you get some free time and you go have some dinner with your guys, go hang out, get away from the racetrack a little bit."
Downtime: “There’s not much downtime, but when I can, I try to chill,” Allmendinger said. “Everything I do is challenging myself, whether it is golf or working out. On my off weekend, I went to a go-karting race and challenged myself. My girlfriend tells me I need to do some art - color or something like that - or learn how to cook. I’ve got enough sponsor products between BUSH’S Beans, Better Than Bouillon, Hungry Jack, Kingsford that I can learn to cook. Also, I can pick up SCOTT Products along with our other brands at Kroger. She says something noncompetitive is what I need."
Disconnect: "I bought my house where I did because it is off the beaten path and it just allows me to get away a little bit," Allmendinger said. "People see me as kind of an outgoing guy. I have that personality and I’m slightly excitable, but at the same point I’m also really reserved in my life. I try to go into a little bit of hiding when I’m away from the racetrack. It allows me to get away and just be at home. I have a small group of friends I like to hang out with. That’s what I do. You have to. For me, racing is a passion and it’s probably one of the coolest jobs you can have, but it’s a job still. Especially when it is not going well, you need to get away from it or you will drive yourself into the ground. When we do this almost 40 weeks out of the year, you have to find time for yourself no matter what it is, whether it is me golfing, chilling with friends, laying by the pool or just hanging out. You have to have that just to get away.”
Career Starts: 245
Pole Awards: 3
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Pole: 6/27/2015 Sonoma
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
BETTER THAN BOUILLON
Visit BetterThanBouillon.com for this and other grilling recipes.
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 Better Than Bouillon car.
Click HERE to visit the download page.
- GET SOCIAL -
- EARN POINTS -
- COMPETE WITH FRIENDS -
- WIN PRIZES! -
Tuesday, July 14th
11:30 AM to 3:30 PM Bristol Motor Speedway Victory Tour
Sunday, July 19th
10:40 AM to 11 AM JTG Daugherty Racing Meet & Greets