Event: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Date/Time: Saturday, August 20th / 8 PM ET
TV Network/Radio: NBCSN / PRN / SIRIUSXM
Going gets tough: “Going into Bristol Motor Speedway, you know that it’s definitely going to be a tough race,” Allmendinger said. “It’s always going to be a grind no matter what. We're ready and we've got a sweet looking ride with BUSH'S Grillin' Beans on board. It's a home track for the brand. We look forward to seeing everyone from BUSH'S this weekend.”
Mental and physical challenges: “500 laps around Bristol Motor Speedway is challenging especially during the summer race because it’s hot and everybody’s tempers are always kind of on the edge,” Allmendinger said. “It’s definitely a difficult race. It’s a mentally and physically challenging 500 laps around there.”
Finding balance: “We had a good car in April, but as the season develops a lot of stuff kind of changes,” Allmendinger said. “It’s one of those things where you say, ‘Yeah, we’ve got good notes, but setups and stuff advance.’ You’re not sure what you’re going to have because the track is a little different there in the summertime. Bristol is one of those places where you need a good balance and qualifying is important. You want to run up front there so you don’t get lapped because that can happen really quick. It’s just a challenge for sure mentally and physically for everybody to be on their game.”
Minimize and maximize: “We had a pretty good run going on in the spring at Bristol Motor Speedway,” crew chief Randall Burnett said. “We really had great speed all weekend and we were running as high as second there for a while. We had a pit road problem under green that got us behind and we lost a couple laps. We didn’t give up and we were able to fight back as a team and finish on the lead lap. We are going to go up there and try to minimize our mistakes and try to have a shot at winning this thing.”
Young at heart: “We’re really looking forward to going back to Bristol a second time,” Burnett said. “There’s nothing like a little short track night race at Bristol. Growing up around short tracks, Bristol Motor Speedway is especially one of my favorite places. I’d say Bristol and Martinsville Speedway are my two favorite places that we go to on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. It gets you feeling like you’re a kid again running short track stuff.”
Be there at the end: “Bristol is a big race and it’s an attrition race,” Burnett said. “We've just got to be there at the end. It will be interesting to see what happens with whatever they’ve done to the track surface. We will figure out what’s going on there. It’s just such a great race in August up there and we normally have a great crowd for that race. We’re looking forward to it.”
Pumped up: “If you look at the guys that win that race, it’s a pretty elite company that wins at Bristol,” Burnett said. “To win there is a pretty big deal, especially in terms of short track racing. I’m excited to go back there. I get pumped up for that race.”
Right place, right time: “I feel like going into Bristol, if we put ourselves in the right spot, we have a shot,” Burnett said. “We started ninth there earlier this season and we were running up to second before we had a problem. Obviously, we showed we had speed. The (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) cars were strong but they had problems. The 19 (Carl Edwards) was really strong. Any time you go there, you also have to talk about the Busch brothers (Kurt and Kyle) and (Kevin) Harvick will be strong. All those guys, they typically run up front there. It will be a tough race. It will be a long and hot race. There will be lots of cars beating and banging and tempers flaring. It’s a place where you’ve got to make sure your car is prepared well, your driver is prepared for it and just have a good setup going into it.”
Career Starts: 285
Pole Awards: 4
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Pole: 8/8/15 Watkins Glen
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: Randall Burnett
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