Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Event: Duck Commander 500
Date: Sunday, April 6th
Time: 3 PM EDT
TV / Radio: FOX / PRN / SIRIUSXM
Intermediate track: “I think our intermediate program has been pretty good and we’re ready for Texas Motor Speedway,” AJ Allmendinger said. “Hopefully, I’m up there battling in the BUSH’S Beans Chevy for a top-10 finish if not a win."
Week-to-week: “Ultimately, I try to focus on each weekend leading up to that race. Especially with the new race packages, every weekend is different, but at the same time I’m excited to go to Texas," Allmendinger said. "That’s because of the success we’ve already had and the speed we have shown at the mile-and-a-halfs and the things that the guys are doing at the shop right now makes us feel like we have learned over the last couple of weeks how to make our Texas car quicker just with some of the updates we have done. Some of the ideas we have come up with on our own and with the RCR (Richard Childress Racing) alliance and everything combined, I’m looking forward to it."
Fruits of labor: “We spent so much effort with planning to make a big transition like we did over the winter and you certainly hope it comes together quickly,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “To see it come together in the first five to six races and start to get the finishes we deserve has been huge for us and definitely gives us more confidence in all the decisions we made. Watching the race at Auto Club Speedway a couple weeks ago, I think I walked 12 miles in a small circle behind the pits and paced holes in my shoes during that race. We have had really good speed this year. We have just had circumstances the first four races where we did not get the finishes we deserved. I think a part of becoming a great team is that you learn how to win.”
Desired results: “We are way more competitive than what our results have showed,” Allmendinger said. “Something bit us or something happened out of the ordinary or bad luck or misfortune the first few races. Auto Club Speedway was the first race where we feel like that didn’t happen and then we had a solid run at Martinsville Speedway. So, we finally are getting to show everybody what we knew already. We are a small team, but we are given all these resources now and we are just as capable as a lot of bigger teams. That top-10 at California did help us with our confidence and reassuring us that we can do it. At Daytona International Speedway, it was a brake failure in a parts flaw and we had to change a caliper during the race. At Phoenix International Raceway, we had a clutch issue with the setting being off just a little bit and the car jumped off the jack during a pit stop and that bit us. Bad luck at Bristol Motor Speedway pitting a lap before the caution comes out and put us a few laps down and we were never able to recover from it. A lot of little things like that hurt us.”
Tire management: “The teams are pushing so hard right now to find every little advantage that is possible out there and any amount of grip you can find over the next competitor makes a huge difference,” Allmendinger said. “At California (Auto Club Speedway) a couple weeks ago, I feel like our race team did a good job to avoid those tires deals. It’s hard to say about Texas Motor Speedway, but I don’t think we will have any problems there. We go to Texas twice a year and at Fontana (Calif.) you go there only once in March. You don’t see the track again for a whole year and then you come back again with obviously the rules changes with the ride heights. I don’t think we will see tire problems at Texas, but all the teams are trying to find every advantage they can get.”
The season thus far: “That’s what’s been really great about the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season so far. The first six races, there have been six different winners. You really don’t know whose going to be quick. The field is so tight this year. I feel like the depth of the field â€“ at least over the last four of five years that I’ve been in NASCAR â€“ it’s probably the best it has ever been. You can have anywhere from 20 to 25 cars that have a legitimate shot at winning the race. It really plays out with strategy and what you can do to get track position. Texas is going to be a great race."
Alliance continues to be beneficial: “The biggest thing is that with the new rules package without the alliance (with Richard Childress Racing), I think we would be really behind right now because there are so many different spring and shock combinations that you can do and I don’t think anybody has really nailed it yet,” Allmendinger said. “The alliance has really helped us to get settled into that and have more cars to bounce notes off of and so we can figure out which direction to go. I think that has been huge in helping us. Having more horsepower and better race cars always helps, but also I think us learning each other myself, Brian (Burns) and the engineering staff is crucial. It’s important to go in a direction I’m comfortable with each race weekend and using what we get from RCR, but also saying we know this is what works for us is a big deal. I really feel and I hope as each race goes on that we are going to keep getting better. California (Auto Club Speedway) was good because in a way it got a little bit of a monkey off our back saying, ‘Okay, we got that number now. We finally got that top-10 finish.' To say, 'Hey, if we do the right things we can run up front.’ It’s just the same thing every weekend trying to work on being better. The Fridays are really important for us right now because that is where we unload and we struggle at times and it puts us so far behind. Then during qualifying, we are trying to figure out what we need to do and it sets the tone for the weekend. If we get better on Fridays, our weekends as a whole are going to be a lot better.”
Latin flair: “Over the past few weeks, we have had some fun with the fans as we sampled and promoted some contests featuring BUSH'SÂ® Grillin' BeansÂ®,” Allmendinger said. "But this week, we are switching gears and adding a little spice to our menu. My crew and I will be conducting a little taste test to determine which flavor of BUSH'SÂ® Cocina Latina beans we like best. Since we are racing in Texas, the same weekend that the Final Four will be taking place right down the road, and everything is big in Texas, we decided to make a Texas sized platter of nachos and put one can of each of the four Cocina Latina beans on each corner of the platter and conduct our own little Final Four tournament of flavors. I like lots of spice, so I can already tell that I will lean towards the Pintos a la Diabla but you can always tone down the spice with cheese and sour cream if you want. My mouth is already watering just thinking about it."
AJ Allmendinger has 10 starts and two top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway. His average start is 18.800 and his average finish is 21.600. His best finish there is 10th-place (twice - 11/2/08 and 11/6/11).
Career Starts: 197
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: 2 - 4/1/2012 Martinsville
Driver DOB: 12/16/1981
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Crew Chief: Brian Burns
Beans have always been a comforting part of traditional Hispanic meals. Each generation of moms want to continue this tradition, but they also want to bring a unique touch to the beans. Bush's Cocina LatinaÂ® is inspired by regional recipes and kitchen wisdom handed down from the real experts . . . the women of your family; moms, grandmas and aunts.
We start with the traditional slow-cooked beans and then add in just the right ingredients and seasoning to give the beans a modern flair that you and your family will love. It's a delicious way to carry on the bean tradition or create a new one!
FAN OF THE WEEK:
Enter NOW for a chance to ride along with AJ Allmendinger during a race this season!
Throughout the season our JTG Daugherty Racing "#47 FAN OF THE WEEK" will have their photo featured on AJ's car.
Each week we post the "#47 FAN OF THE WEEK" theme, with instructions on how you can enter. The best fan submission to us via the JTG Daugherty Racing social media pages will be chosen the following Monday and will be featured on AJ Allmendinger's #47 car during the next race.
Last week we asked race fans to tell us why they thought they were the biggest fan in NASCAR. After receiving several great entries we narrowed it down to a story from David Fisher and the famous piece of NASCAR sheet metal that got away. The Western North Carolina-native has been a lifelong fan of the sport and will actually be in attendance at this weekend's race in Martinsville so he can see his picture on AJ's car as it circles the track and races to the front! Have a great time David and thank you for being a dedicated NASCAR fan, we are proud to have you as our #47FanOfTheWeek!
Last week's #47FanOfTheWeek contest was almost as simple as guessing how many jelly beans are in a glass jar. All fans had to do was send us their best guess with how many BUSH'SÂ® Grillin' Beans are in the BUSH'SÂ® Grillin' Beans can that JTG Daugherty Racing team member Zach Case was holding in a photo we posted. To give themselves a better chance at winning, we suggested they run out to their local grocery store and buy a can or three of BUSH'SÂ® Grillin' Beans and count each delicious bean for themselves then send us their guess.
The guesses were all over the board but the winning guess came within 11 BUSH'SÂ® Grillin' Beans of the correct answer. Jason Nance from Greensboro, NC made the BOLD guess of 670 beans and our can had 681 BOURBON AND BROWN SUGAR flavored beans.
Congratulations Jason! Your photo will be featured on AJ Allmendinger's car this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway!
Look for our next contest to be announced tomorrow, you might be our next #47FanOfTheWeek!
Friday, April 4th
3 PM Media Availability in Texas Motor Speedway's Media Center Deadline Room
Sunday, April 6th
11:30 AM JTG Daugherty Racing Meet & Greets