AJ Scores 11th in RichmondSeptember 11, 2011
· AJ Allmendinger started in the 9th position for the 400-lap event at Richmond International Raceway
· Allmendinger finished the race in the 11th position
· Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 13th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger lined up in the ninth position for the start of Saturday night’s 300-mile event at Richmond International Raceway. He remained inside the Top 10 through the first 50 laps and let Crew Chief Greg Erwin know that the Best Buy Ford was loose in the corners and tight in the center during much of that time.
A Lap 53 caution gave the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team the opportunity to make an air pressure adjustment to the right rear tire when Allmendinger brought the car into the pits for a routine four tire stop at Lap 59. He lined up 19th for the restart. Though he communicated to the team that he was struggling with forward bite, Allmendinger was able to pick up several positions, and by the time another yellow flag was in the air, he had worked his way into 16th place. After a quick pit stop, Allmendinger lined up for the Lap 123 green flag in 14th place.
Richmond’s short track showed no mercy Saturday night and there was hardly a car in the field that didn’t make contact with something or someone. Allmendinger suffered minor fender and splitter damage to the car prior to the lap 200 mark and the crew worked to make quick repairs during subsequent pit stops.
Allmendinger’s Best Buy Ford hovered around the Top 10 until a Lap 243 pit stop for four fresh tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Several laps after hitting pit road under green flag conditions the caution flag flew and Allmendinger and crew found themselves a lap down to the leaders, who had not yet pitted. Allmendinger let the team know that the last set of changes were a step in the right direction and patiently worked his way into position to be the recipient of the Lucky Dog award. The plan worked and the No. 43 was awarded the Lucky Dog during a Lap 288 caution.
With 100 laps remaining in the Wonderful Pistachios 400, Allmendinger held down the 22nd spot. Able to stay out of trouble in the closing laps, Allmendinger wasted no time making his move to the front of the field. When the checkered flag fell on the event, the No. 43 Ford sat in 11th place.
The Best Buy Racing team’s 11th place effort on Saturday was its fifth consecutive Top-12 result. Allmendinger remains in 13th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. Next weekend’s event at Chicagoland Speedway marks the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The top 12 drivers will vie for the series championship.
Next Race Information
Date: Sept. 18, 2011
Track: Chicagoland Speedway (Joliet, Ill.)
Laps: 267 Laps/400.5 Miles
TV Information: 2 p.m. ET on ESPN
Radio Information: 2 p.m. ET on MRN and Sirius XM Radio
Qualifying: Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:40 p.m. ET