Allmendinger Takes 12th at MartinsvilleOctober 24, 2010
24 October 2010 (Charlotte, NC)-- AJ Allmendinger fought to a lead-lap 12th place finish on Sunday with the No. 43 Insignia HDTV/Best Buy Ford Fusion in the Tums Fast Relief 500 for Richard Petty Motorsports.
The result marked a return to strong form as AJ banked a fifth top-12 finish in the last seven races, shrugging off a pair of unlucky results (19th and 25th) and all the distractions during the race week to solidify his spot in the points standings after starting the race from 15th on the grid. The No. 43 ran as high as 5th, and as deep in the pack as 28th during the 500-lap affair. Allmendinger was set back slightly by a balky pit stop late in the race, but blamed no one but himself for it as he fought back to net the second-highest finish of the Ford runners.
"I'm happy, but I'm mad at myself because I messed up on that pit stop,” said AJ. “We finally got some track position, and were finally getting to the front when we were up to seventh or eighth, but I messed up on our two-tire stop. I just tried to leave too quick and stalled it and that put us in the back, so we had to fight from there, so I wouldn't say I'm happy, but I'm pleased with the finish.
“Anytime you get a top 12 at Martinsville, I think it's the first time I've ever run all 500 laps here, too, so, all in all, it was a good day. I think we gained some points on a couple guys around us, but, more importantly, we got back to running well after the last couple of weeks. I'm happy for the guys and mad at myself a little bit, but it was a decent day."
WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT YOUR TEAM THAT WITH ALL THE DISTRACTIONS THIS WEEK THEY HAD A SOLID PERFORMANCE TODAY?
"We can't change anything that's going on behind the scenes and what's gonna happen. We can't change that. We can come here and, for me, no matter what happens I feel like I'll figure something out. I'm more worried for my guys because they bust their butts to go out here and work this hard. They don't get paid a lot of money and they spend their whole life doing this, so I just want to try to take care of them. After everything this week, I'm just proud of my guys, my pit crew, my road crew and everybody back at the shop for building a good race car and rallying - putting their heads down and just forgetting about everything going on around us."
Next up is the Amp Energy 500 as NASCAR Sprint Cup competition moves from the smallest track to the largest and all the madness that is Talladega on a Halloween weekend.