AJ Allmendinger, JTG DAUGHERTY RACING
NASCAR SPRINT MEDIA TOUR RECAP
Event: NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway
Date: Monday, January 27th, 2014
Location: Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, NC
Sprint Media Tour Recap:
The 2014 NASCAR season officially kicked-off on Monday as NASCAR dropped the green-flag on the 32nd Annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour at the Charlotte Convention Center. The day was filled with digital, print, television and radio interviews, photo-shoots and filming of the driver of the No. 47 Cheverolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, AJ Allmendinger.
The annual tour is an opportunity for media outlets around the country to meet with drivers, teams, and NASCAR personnel to get the latest information and insights as the start of the 2014 NASCAR season nears.
AJ Allmendinger started the day interviewing with NBC Sports' Kelli Stavast and filming in the NBC Sports creative green screen room. Next, he joined JTG Daugherty Racing team owners; Tad and Jodi Geschickter, and Brad Daugherty for one-on-one interviews with Claire B. Lang for Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
At 3:15 p.m. Eastern, AJ Allmendinger and the No. 47 team owners took the stage for the main media session. Emcee, Brad Gillie posed a series of questions for AJ Allmendinger, Tad Geschickter, and Brad Daugherty about the team's upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
The trio shared their enthusiasm for the newly formed alliance with Richard Childress Racing, discussed the anticipation of the team's and AJ Allmendinger's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in 2014, and having some of the best partners in the sport; BUSH'S Beans, Charter Communications, Clorox, Glad, Hidden Valley, House-Autry, Shore Lunch Soups, Kingsford, Kroger, and SCOTT Products.
Following the main session, which was also streamed live for race fans on NASCAR.com, the No. 47 team was available for one-on-one interviews with the media. Allmendinger then completed some interviews for NASCAR Productions before wrapping up the day with an interview with Danielle Trotta for NASCAR Race Hub on Fox Sports 1.
MEDIA TOUR QUOTES:
AJ ALLMENDINGER ON HIS GOALS FOR 2014: “To go run top-20 is a hard thing to do. I think that’s a first goal to have, and then you just keep building on that. I just want to get to where we go out on the racetrack and teams look at us and say, we can’t sleep on them. They can go out there and make it happen. We can go to the road course races and have a shot to win it. We almost did at Watkins Glen last year. I want to get to a lot of racetracks and say that we really have a shot to compete, and be in the top-20 all the time. Have our normal days of 14th to 17th range, our good days, top-10’s and our great days having a shot at it. In this sport, you see the races every weekend, if you can just put yourself in that position, maybe you’ll get lucky and you grab one. That’s where I think we can get to, but it starts with day-to-day.”
"Through everything I've been through and all the different teams I've been lucky enough to drive for, to be with this race team and getting to know them, I thought this was the right place to be. I really felt like this was the right choice for me and a good place where I could be for hopefully a long time. Of course, the goal is to bring that first trophy into the shop. But you can't jump from 30th to first right away. If we do everything to our maximum ability and what we're capable of, people will look at us and say, 'they're contending every weekend.'"
AJ ALLMENDINGER ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BACK BACK IN THE SPRINT CUP SERIES FULL-TIME: “When I really had to sit there and think about it, because when you’re struggling, you feel like you don’t want to be there or maybe I’m over this â€“ when it gets taken away from you, you really have to look at if you want to be there. Quickly I realized as I watched it on TV, I wanted to be back, but honestly I didn’t know if I would be or if I’d have the opportunity, so to be back full-time is almost like starting over. To be with this race team â€“ they don’t make me just feel like a driver, they make me feel like I’m a part of their family, I’m a key component to building the race team â€“ not just driving the race car. So, with all of those reasons, I’m just really looking forward to the partnership.”
BRAD DAUGHERTY ON ALLIANCE WITH RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING AND 2014 GOALS: "As we looked at our programs, we saw the huge holes that we weren't going to be able to fill in-house. We had the opportunity to look at the best resources available to us, and we knew we had to have an alliance if we truly wanted to be competitive. We talked about being competitive last year and then we ended up 30th. We feel like we're a top-20 team, but the reality of it is we were a 30th-place race team last year. We had to change."
"When we go to Watkins Glen and some of those places, Dover, we're going to kick their butts. That's what we're planning on doing. There's no need to be shy about it. We got our butts kicked last year, and we're going to try and return the favor."
TAD GESCHICKTER ON 2014 OUTLOOK: "We've always reinvested back in the business. I really feel like this is the year we can get to Victory Lane. With AJ, we think this is the year we can break through."
AJ ALLMENDINGER ON JODI GESCHICKTER: "The true owner, Jodi â€“ she's the real boss. I found that out right away."
BRAD DAUGHERTY ON AJ'S RETURN TO NASCAR FULL-TIME: “Everybody’s got that story, everybody gets knocked down, everybody’s got stuff that happens to them. Everyone can relate to that. He’s got a second chance and second opportunity to do something special. I think that’s the most important thing. He’s under a microscope. It’s up to him to take this opportunity and seize it.”
“I talked to Roger Penske about AJ, and I told him I wanted to offer him a full time Cup Ride. Roger said, ‘I can live with that,’ and that was that. We feel we have the driver to win races and challenge for the championship.”