Infineon race in Allmendinger's comfort zoneJune 21, 2007
SCENEDAILY - 12:35PM ET WEDNESDAY JUNE 20, 2007
AJ Allmendinger has had a tough time adapting to Nextel Cup cars this season, qualifying for only eight of 15 races and posting a best finish of 31st on two occasions.
But Allmendinger will be a little more comfortable this weekend. The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is run on the road course at Infineon Raceway, and Allmendinger's background is in road racing.
His career started in karts, and he's run road courses full time since 2004. Allmendinger won five Champ Car races last year, all on road courses. Now, he'll try to adapt his road-racing skills to the bulkier stock cars.
"Road racing is what I've grown up doing, and what I'm most comfortable doing," Allmendinger said. "These guys have been doing this for a while, so I don't know if I will bring anything to the table against someone like Jeff Gordon. But I'll definitely be more comfortable driving a stock car this weekend than I have been all year."
Allmendinger will still need to make the race via qualifying since his team Red Bull Toyota entry sits outside the top 35 in owner points. But he is confident he can get the No. 84 in the field.
"As far as the race, the main thing I am looking forward to is getting to turn right again," Allmendinger said. "Turning right on an oval isn't so much fun because it means you are heading for the wall.
"I am nervous about qualifying because you only get one lap to try to make the field. Once I am locked into the race though, I can just relax and do my thing."