Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Event: Bank of America 500
Race Date / Time: Saturday, October 11th, 7:30 PM ET
TV / Radio: ABC / PRN / SIRIUSXM
Charlotte Motor Speedway: “Hopefully, we can take some of the things we learned at Kansas Speedway into Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend,” Allmendinger said. “Charlotte is a little bit different and a little bit rougher. We will see how it all goes. We tested there not long ago and we were happy with the test. Everybody at our shop has worked really hard on our mile-and-a-half program. The guys tell me that we have a great car going to Charlotte - - the best car we have had in the shop. We will see what happens and just keep building on it.”
Better prepared: “We had a solid weekend from start to finish at Kansas Speedway and that makes us excited about Charlotte Motor Speedway,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “Kansas was by far one of our better races at a mile-in-a-half track in a long time. We were able to test Charlotte to be better prepared and we are looking forward to this weekend.”
Optimistic: “Some of the changes we made to unload at Kansas Speedway last weekend made the car better and what we learned makes us optimistic about Charlotte,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “We have struggled at the mile-and-a-half tracks and Kansas was a step in the right direction. We unloaded well and put together a solid weekend from the beginning to the end. That’s something we really needed. It makes us look forward to Charlotte.”
Realist: “We are going to just try to finish as high as we can in the rest of the races this season," Allmendinger said. "We’ve got some good tracks coming up. Since we tested at Charlotte, hopefully we can have a good run there. When it comes to the shorter tracks like Martinsville (Speedway) and Phoenix (International Raceway), I really enjoy those places. I think it is realistic that we can get a top-10 finish in points. We still have to run a little bit better.”
Work hard work smart: “We are a close knit team with approximately 35 employees that all work hard together,” Allmendinger said. “We know that we have to work harder than everybody else to try to compete against the big teams. We are a single-car team, but we have resources from the alliance we have with Richard Childress Racing and running ECR Engines and our relationship with Chevrolet. We get all the data, we get all the notes, all the info, all the engineering. Yeah, we are a single-car team in way, but in a lot of ways we are really not.”
The process: “Going into the year, this was a long-term program,” Allmendinger said. "We looked at growing this team as a process. We’ve done a lot of great things this year - - to be able to have a victory our first season together and to make the Chase with this new format. There are a lot of great things that have happened, but at the same time we’ve got a lot to do to reach the next level. That’s being a top-15, top-10 team each week. There’s the ups and downs of the season and that’s what makes it the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It is so difficult because the season is so long and you are going to have those ups and downs especially if you are a single-car team. There are a lot of great things happening and to be able to be in the Chase the first year with JTG Daugherty Racing is pretty amazing, but we know we have got a long way to go.”
Reminiscing: "No matter what happens, hopefully we get a lot more victories together, but you can’t ever take that away - - the feeling of winning your first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race,” Allmendinger said. “That’s something I worked for eight years and Tad and Jodi (Geschickter) worked for 20 years to get to. It was really special to win at Watkins Glen International.”
Top-15 team: “A solid top-15 weekend is a good weekend for us right now,” Allmendinger said. “If we can get in the top-10, that’s a really good weekend for us. We’ve just got to do that. I feel like we have made improvements, but the track changes a lot and we’ve got to stay on top of the race track.”
Looking on the brighter side: “There are a lot of positives when it comes to the season,” Allmendinger said. “We are one of 16 teams that made this Chase format. Just because we didn’t make it into the Contender Round, doesn’t mean the season is over. With the way the points work out, realistically you can still finish as high as fifth in the points. I feel like if we do our jobs, we improve and get out there and make no mistakes, a top-10 is a realistic goal for us. I was upset we didn’t make it to the Contender Round. It wasn’t the fact we weren’t in it. It was just that we didn’t run well enough. I was proud of the guys because they didn’t make any mistakes. The pit crew was on it. We fought to the last lap. At that point, it was so close that anything could have happened. It was at a place (Dover International Speedway) that I have always been pretty strong at. We just never hit on it all weekend and that’s why I was disappointed at the end of the day.”
Maximizing the weekends remaining: "We have got to just keep getting better," Allmendinger said. "We didn’t show our best in the first three races of the Chase. Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway) was a decent weekend, but Chicago (Chicagoland Speedway) and Dover were not. We found some issues with the same car we used for two of the three races. There were some stuff we found that caused some of our issues that we can learn from and become better from it. Really it just comes down to not making any mistakes and maximizing every lap. That pressure of being in the Chase and trying to get into the next round, I put on my shoulders and I wanted to carry us there. In a way the positives of not being in it is now you are not in the spotlight. I wouldn’t say we’re overlooked. We can just do our thing without that pressure of having to make it to the next round. Because of that, maybe we can sneak up on some guys in the points and pass them and nobody really realize it.”
Wants more road course racing: “I would love for a road course to be in the Chase format," Allmendinger said. "More importantly, I think there needs to be a couple more road courses on the schedule. I feel like 10 or 15 years ago everybody looked at road course racing like, ‘Alright, let’s just get these races over with and get back to oval racing.’ I feel like if you ask the drivers and ask the fan base – whether it’s the NASCAR Sprint, Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series race - they will say it’s one of those things that has become a lot of fun and really competitive. It would be fun to have one in the Chase, but you can easily add a Road America or the track in Austin or Mid-Ohio to the regular schedule where you could have some great NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing. That’s more of what I would push - than just to get one in the chase - just to get a few more added to the schedule.”
Career Starts: 221
Pole Awards: 2
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Pole: 4/22/2012 Kansas
Best Start: 1 - 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Best Finish: 1 - 8/10/2014 Watkins Glen
Driver DOB: 12/16/1981
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Crew Chief: Brian Burns
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FAN OF THE WEEK:
IT'S TAILGATIN' TIME!
Last week we selected Corbin Sneed as our #47FanOfTheWeek and he will have his family's photo featured on AJ Allmendinger's Scott car at Charlotte this weekend.
Now is your chance to have your photo ride along on AJ Allmendinger’s #47 Scott Products car during the race at Talladega next week!
Share with us how you'll use Scott Towels at your next tailgate.
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5 PM JTG Daugherty Racing Meet & Greets at Hauler