When 25th is Actually a Good ThingOctober 16, 2010
16 October, 2010--AJ Allmendinger finished Saturday night's Bank of America 500 in 25th with the No. 43 WIx Filters Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports after fighting to the finish with a stricken motor. The result is the worst finish for AJ and the No. 43 since taking 31st at Bristol in August, yet still moved him up one spot in the points to 20th with just five races left to go in the NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
Despite the disappointment of starting so well with a third place spot on the grid, the run to 25th was another strong showing as AJ made the most of his Fusion's handling to stay on the lead lap and in the top 20 for most of the long race despite not having full power from the drop of the green.
Entering the weekend, Allmendinger and crew chief Mike Shiplett had been hitting a strong stride, taking top twenty finishes in every race since Labor Day including three top tens as well as some stout qualifying runs to boot. The issue marked the second weekend where AJ didn't seem to have the full complement of ponies on offer from the motor, but he kept his head down and made the most of what he had to bring home some points.
"I'm not sure what was going on," said AJ. "We seemed right away to have a similar issue as last week with the horsepower. It's like I had no pick up out of the corner and no speed down the straights.It got progressively worse and we just tried to nurse it to get what we could. I apologized to Mike and my guys because I got pretty frustrated on the radio. We're just so much a top 10 team now and the last two weeks have been frustrating because of that. I know they're taking apart the engine right now to figure it out, so we'll see what happened."