Event: Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts
Date/Time: Saturday, July 9th / 7:30 PM ET
TV/Radio: NBCSN / PRN / SIRIUSXM
Secret to success: “I haven’t found it yet - - the secret to success on this track," Allmendinger said. "I don't think anybody knows now with the re-pave. It will be interesting. I was fortunate enough we got to test at Kentucky Speedway. I thought the two day test went really well and I was quite happy. It was the first time that Randall Burnett (crew chief) and I were able to actually go out and test together so I was very pleased with it."
New pavement: "The new pavement’s smooth, but we have got to get a lot of cars out there to get it widened out," Allmendinger said. "It was definitely one groove, one way there. Turns 1 and 2 are definitely different than Turns 3 and 4 now. So, it’s going to be interesting to see how the weekend’s going to play out with Trucks (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) and Xfinity (NASCAR Xfinity Series) there - - to see how the race track kind of develops by the time we get to Saturday night.”
Handling: “I fought it for a while at the Kentucky test, definitely fought it the whole weekend at Michigan (International Speedway) - - it’s very loose-in with no spoiler on the car," Allmendinger said. "It’s very sensitive, very loose getting into the corner. So, I thought we did some stuff at the Kentucky test to make it better, because that was definitely what hindered us at Michigan from being up on a really good car to what got us in trouble; to be causing that wreck. It’s traffic sensitive, no matter what the aero-package is going to be sensitive behind cars. Qualifying, pit-strategy, and staying up front all night is going to be very key.”
Balance: “At least at the test, it was just trying to learn the difference between Turns 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 - - trying to get that right balance," Allmendinger said. "Because Turns 1 and 2, it’s got your typical mile-and-a-half banking, gets in the corner, car really sucks around, and it’s got good grip. Turns 3 and 4, its almost like an off camber corner now. It’s really slick getting in, it kind of stayed free the whole time we were there. So, I think the two corners are totally different balances and we are going to have to play off of that through the weekend.”
Up front: “Hopefully, (we see) the 47 car up front the whole time," Allmendinger said. "I’m not really sure. Like I said, I think strategy is big time critical. It will be interesting to see how the tires go through the course of the weekend. We definitely saw a lot of wear on the tires that we ran at the test. I think Goodyear’s bringing a different right-side tire. It’s a big race. Kroger’s home race. We know there’s a lot of pressure on us, there’s going to be a lot of Kroger people at the race, so we want to go out there and perform at our best. Hopefully, we get a good starting spot to start the weekend.”
Testing went well: “We got to go test Kentucky Speedway about two weeks ago," crew chief Randall Burnett said. "I thought we had a pretty good test up there. We got to run through a lot of stuff. The car had pretty good speed compared to the cars that were there. We’re really looking forward to going back there. It’s Kroger’s backyard, one of our main sponsors, so that will be a big race for us. We’re really excited to have all those folks with us. We’re going to go up there and it will be an interesting race. The track is a little different than it has been. It's a lot smoother. The two ends of the track: Turns 1 and 2 are quite a bit different from 3 and 4. It will definitely be challenging to get set up for that. We’ll just have to see how the track takes rubber with all the cars there.”
Big thanks to Kroger: “Last week, we got to see Kroger’s headquarters and do a lot of cool things there with AJ, myself, Tad (Geschickter) and Ernie (Cope)" Burnett said. "I was really excited about that. It was cool to go see their headquarters and be in Cincinnati with them. They had their big 'Kroger’s Red’s Racing Night', so I got to go and catch the first pitch. Growing up as a baseball fan, that was a pretty cool deal for me. I mean just to be able to go there and experience all of that was a dream come true. Thanks to Kroger and all our great partners. Also, Nestle was there. There were just a lot of great people at headquarters and at the stadium. It was a great experience, a great night at the baseball game and I want to thank the Red’s and Kroger for having us.”
Career Starts: 280
Pole Awards: 4
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Pole: 8/8/15 Watkins Glen
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: Randall Burnett
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AJ Allmendinger Sponsor Appearances:
Wednesday, July 6th
5 PM to 6:30 PM Kroger Store Appearance, 7855 Tylersville Road, West Chester, Ohio