AJ happy to be homeJune 22, 2007
by David Coffin, The Examiner
SAN FRANCISCO (Map, News) - For 36 of their 38 race weekends, NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers spend their lives turning left. This weekend is one of the two exceptions as the Cup series makes its annual appearance at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, a 1.9-mile, 10-turn permanent road course, Friday through Sunday.
Cup rookie A.J. Allmendinger, who has three Northern California cities claiming him as their own, spent all his racing life until this season turning right as well as left. Allmendinger, who was born in Los Gatos, graduated from Leigh High School in San Jose and launched his professional driving career while living in Hollister, rose through the Champ Car ladder system, racing almost exclusively on road and street courses until NASCAR came calling near the end of last season.
“It will be great to see my family and friends this weekend in California,” Allmendinger said. “As far as the race, the main thing I am looking forward to is getting to turn right again. Turning right on an oval isn’t so much fun because it means you are heading for the wall!
“But road-course racing is what I’ve grown up doing and what I am most comfortable doing. 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.”
The San Francisco Examiner