Consistency continues finishing streak at BristolAugust 26, 2007
BRISTOL, TN-Consistency was the key in Saturday night’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway for Allmendinger to continue his Nextel Cup finishing streak.
After qualifying 34th and starting 41st, AJ Allmendinger and the Red Bull crew put together another solid race at the “world’s fastest half-mile” Saturday and brought home the 84 Toyota Camry in 35th. The result stretches out AJ’s finishing streak, making him only 1 of 4 full-time Cup drivers to be DNF-free.
The 84 was running the best it had been consistently to date, turning in laps equaling or bettering the lead pack. Three incidents prevented AJ from capitalizing on the Camry, with the first coming about 100 laps into the Sharpie 500. A problematic radio prevented crew chief Ricky Viers from hearing what AJ was saying had suddenly gone wrong with the car. On Lap 114, AJ pitted under green and the team found out after that two lug nuts had come loose on a tire. The green stop put the 84 a couple laps down.
The next significant incident came on Lapp 225 when the #48 of Jimmie Johnson hit the #01 of Aric Almirola, who in turn hit the 84 hard in the rear. The yellow came out, but it took three pit stops for the team to fix the damage that crushed left rear, hurting the ability to fuel the car. The incident also ripped the splitter from the Camry.
AJ kept digging and stayed with it, dodging bullets during the last half of the race. On Lap 438, a multi-car incident caused Dale Jarrett to clip the 84’s left front fender and two laps later AJ pitted for that repair. Allmendinger had to pit yet again on Lap 442 to finish the fix.
Despite more than a dozen pit stops, AJ and the 84 crew pulled crossed the finish line 35th.
“I am really proud of my team this weekend,” said AJ. “We all had to come in this weekend and step up in different ways and I think we did that. The incident with the 01 and the 48 really hurt us. It does seem that we can’t seem to catch any breaks, but we’re back to racing again and that feels good. I think the week also shows how much it helps to run a companion race for me to get track time. The last time I qualified was the last time I ran the trucks too and we proved that theory again this week.”