Track: Chicagoland Speedway
Event: Geico 400
Date: Sunday, September 15
Time: 2 PM ET
TV/Radio: ESPN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Bobby Labonte decides to take another week to recover and will miss race at Chicagoland Speedway:
“I feel better every day,” Bobby Labonte said. “My ribs still hurt and that’s something that takes time. I figure with the way things are another week is not that big of a deal. It gives me another week to heal up. Obviously, the plan now is to get back in the car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which is a good track and I look forward to going back there. With my goal being Loudon (N.H.), it gives me another 10 days to prepare for that. It’s better to wait another 10 days.”
"I talk and text Bobby all the time," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "He's family and he's part of the team. Everyone misses him. We all look forward to him feeling well enough to drive again. That's what he wants to do."
AJ Allmendinger, who will drive the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing entry full-time in 2014, will fill for Labonte during the Geico 400.
"Bobby means a lot to the JTG Daugherty Racing team and to our sport," Allmendinger said. "For me, it's a tough situation. I do not want to get more races with the team because someone is injured. Bobby is a guy that I believe is a Hall of Famer and he is a champion. It's tough to have that type of injury. Hopefully, he gets better as soon as possible to get back into the No. 47 Kingsford Charcoal Toyota."
ALLMENDINGER AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY:
In four starts at Chicagoland Speedway, Allmendinger's best finish is 13th twice (7/11/2009 and 7/12/2008). The 31-year-old's average start is 22.500 and his average finish is 16.750.
CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY QUOTES:
Chicagoland character: “Chicagoland Speedway has got a lot of character,” Allmendinger said. “The track has gotten older and has multiple grooves. It's bumpy and depending on the weather conditions it could be slick. It has a curved back straight-away. Turns 1 and 2 are bumpy in the corner and the corner is longer than Turns 3 and 4. When you come off of Turn 2 and the wall comes back at you, you get tight off that corner. Then getting into Turn 3 it’s tighter. You feel like you can arc the car. It’s a tricky entrance. Getting secure in the corner is important. Turns 3 and 4 are tricky to figure out. I look at it like Texas Motor Speedway where 3 and 4 are tighter.”
Hot and cold: "I think it’s hot and cold for me at Chicagoland and it’s not my best track for sure,” Allmendinger said. It’s been two years since I’ve been there. I am going to go and get a good feel. I need to feel it out since it’s definitely not one of my better tracks, but at the same time every year is different. We will build off of what we have already learned.”
The past two races: “The last two weeks have been really good,” Allmendinger said. “Atlanta (Motor Speedway) should have been a better finish than 14th, but we got messed up there at the end. At Richmond (International Raceway) more recently, it was a hard fight the whole weekend. It was not our best of what we were capable of doing, but to be able to come away with a top-15 finish was good.
Starting out on the right foot: “Going into Chicagoland Speedway, it’s more of the same thing and that’s just to continue to improve,” Allmendinger continued. “We’re hoping we will have a decent starting package. Our performance on Fridays is the biggest thing we have to work on right now. We are going to take some stuff we learned at Atlanta (Motor Speedway) and apply it to our Kingsford Toyota Camry at Chicagoland. Top-15 finishes are not where we want to be, but it’s a start and something we can build off of for the future. Our guys at the shop and at the track are doing a great job. We’ll start with top-15s and pick up some top-10s along the way as we work on positioning ourselves in contention for wins.”
Kingsford Charcoal: “I think the Kingsford brand is fun to be a part of with JTG Daugherty Racing,” Allmendinger said. “It’s used a lot at tailgating in the infield and outfield at tracks. I went to a professional football game on Sunday and Kingsford was everywhere people were tailgating. All of the of the brands JTG Daugherty Racing is affiliated with are great. It’s nice to be able to get to know them so we can feel good about each other moving into next year. It’s been good, this is my sixth race and we will have had four different brands on the hood so far. That’s fun to work with.”
Back-to-back top-15 finishes points team in right direction: "We are certainly excited by the way AJ is running in our car even on a night where we really missed the setup like we did at Richmond (International Raceway) Saturday night," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "He was able to stay on the lead lap and finish in the top-15. He drives really hard.
"We continue to find areas we need to work on," Geschickter continued. "It has all been positive and it gives us a head start on learning each other for next year. I look forward to Bobby coming and running some races as well. As much as we miss Bobby, it is a blessing that we are able to work with AJ to get a head start on next year."
Tailgater of the Year Voting has commenced: "This is the first week of people being able to go on Facebook (JTG Daugherty Racing Fan Page) and vote for the Tailgater of the Year. We went out and found the favorite Tailgater of the Week for the first 26 race weekends. Now, fans get to vote on who wins the grand prize as Tailgater of the Year. That's exciting. http://a.pgtb.me/ZcZsLD
"Also, college and pro football tailgating season has kicked off and it's time to Grill for Game Day in addition to grilling out at the racetrack," Geschickter continued. "It's great to be able to promote that together with Kingsford. They sell a lot of Kingsford Charcoal during this time."
First Start: 3/25/2007 Bristol
First Pole: 4/10/2010 Phoenix
Last Start: 6/16/2013 Michigan
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: Los Gatos, CA
Crew Chief: Brian Burns
RECIPES AND MEAL IDEAS:
Visit www.BushBeans.com for Recipes, Tips and Inspirations!
"Black and pinto beans are spiced up with green chilies to create this Tex-Mex favorite." Prep Time: 15 Minutes. Cook Time: 10 Minutes. Ready In: 25 Minutes. Makes 6 servings.
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can BUSH’S® Black
Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (16 ounce) can BUSH’S® Pinto
Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes
with green chilies, undrained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 cup cooked rice
6 chicken breasts, grilled
1. In large skillet, saute green pepper, onion, and garlic in oil for 3 minutes. Stir in broth and cumin. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add BUSH’S® Black Beans, BUSH’S® Pinto Beans, tomatoes, corn and vinegar. Heat thoroughly. Serve over rice and top with grilled chicken.
TAILGATER OF THE YEAR:
Throughout the 2013 NASCAR race season, JTG Daugherty Racing and our drivers, Bobby Labonte and AJ Allmendinger have searched the campgrounds at each race track looking for the best tailgaters. Now that the regular NASCAR season has ended, we have chosen our 24 weekly winners and are launching the “Tailgater of the Year” fan-vote today (and every subsequent Tuesday) at 10am EST.
It is YOUR turn to decide who wins our “Tailgater of the Year” contest and the grand prize of an all-expense paid trip to the 2014 Las Vegas Race as a guest of JTG Daugherty Racing!
The quarter-finalists were determined over the last 26 races as we scoured the camp grounds looking for our weekly favorite tailgater. Visit our contest page and help vote your favorite tailgater into the next round!
Be sure to vote for your favorite once per week to help them win a trip to Las Vegas! http://a.pgtb.me/ZcZsLD