RPM Preview-TexasMarch 31, 2009
STATESVILLE, N.C.— AJ Allmendinger and the No. 44 Super 8 Dodge team of Richard Petty Motorsports are one of the early surprises of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The team is 15th in points, just 34 points outside the last “Chase” position despite beginning the season outside the top 35 with plans to run a limited schedule. Allmendinger’s team continues to look for sponsorship, but that hasn’t impacted the on– or off-track performance. Like every weekend, Allmendinger will get up early Sunday morning and venture to his merchandise hauler where he will sign autographs for the early arriving fans.
AUTOGRAPH SIGNINGS- “We’ve gone out to the Petty merchandise hauler about every weekend. I just like doing it. It’s fun to hang out with the race fans, plus it gives me something to do and I don’t sit around thinking about the race. We put this deal together late so we are still getting all of our merchandise in, but we have enough stuff out there that I do a lot of signing when I go. Race fans are usually in a really good mood Sunday mornings so its fun to goof around with them. Most of our fans are crazy to begin with, so its never dull. We’ve run well lately so the new fans we get are a bit calmer, but we’ll welcome anyone who wants to wear one of our shirts or hats. We have team merchandise and I’ve even got my own line of stuff with AJ on it. Times are pretty tight right now, so going out there each weekend is just a little bit more we can give to the fans.”
TEXAS— “I’m pretty pumped about it. We ran real good at Atlanta before that yellow screwed up everyone. If our No. 44 is as good at Texas as it was in Atlanta then Texas could be a fun afternoon. The Petty team is getting better and better at the 1.5-mile tracks.”
· Allmendinger finished third in the Daytona 500 and ninth at Martinsville
· He is the only driver to qualify for first five races who entered the 2009 season without a guaranteed starting spot.
· Allmendinger started fifth in the fall race at Texas in 2007. He has completed 2,012 of 2,020 laps in 2009.
· The 27-year-old has run just 50 Sprint Cup races. He joined what is now called Richard Petty Motorsports for the final five races of 2008 driving the No. 10 Dodge.
· Allmendinger will sign autographs at his merchandise hauler on Sunday at 9 a.m.
· He will drive chassis 270 at Texas— this car finished 29th at Fontana.