Race: MyAfibStory.com 400
Date/Time: Sunday, September 20th / 3 PM ET
TV/Radio: NBCSN / MRN / SIRIUSXM
Chicagoland Speedway: “Chicagoland Speedway is a mile-and-a-half track, which has its nuisances,” Allmendinger said. “It’s kind of difficult for teams to go there only once a year because you have to relearn the place each time you race there. I guess if I had to compare it to another track, it’s similar to Kansas Speedway. However, with the repave at Kansas it’s a little different when it comes to grip level. In general, the curve down the frontstretch and backstretch of Chicagoland is similar to Kansas. The track design is the same feel just the way the corners are laid out with Turns 1 and 2, 3 and 4. It’s similar.”
10 to go: “We have 10 races left in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season,” Allmendinger said. “We haven’t been as good as we have wanted to be so we are going to try to use these last 10 races as a test. We really want to do well and have good finishes to end the year off as strong as we can and finish as high in the points as possible, but at the same time we are focused on learning everything we can that will help us going into next season. It gives us the opportunity to learn some things.”
Food 4 Less and SCOTT Products: "The season may be winding down, but our sponsors are always ramping up and selling cases," Allmendinger said. "We have one of Kroger's banners, Food 4 Less, on our car this weekend along with SCOTT Products. I'll also be signing at Food 4 Less for the fans this Thursday in Chicago Heights starting at 5:30 PM. We're very forunate to have their support along with all of our brands. Our sponsors and fans are the reason we get to do what we love to do. We're very grateful for their support."
Learning more: “Our mile-and-a-half program is something that we need to improve upon so we do not struggle at those type of tracks,” Allmendinger said. “I know two of our alliance partners - the No. 3 (Austin Dillon) of Richard Childress Racing and 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) Furniture Row team - tested there recently and that’s good because they seemed to be pleased with what they learned and that can benefit us. At the same point, we’re going to use this race as a test to get better each weekend.”
Benefits of team alliance: “We feel like Chicagoland Speedway has been our Achilles’ heel,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “A big positive is that two of our alliance teams , Richard Childress Racing and Furniture Row, participated in a Goodyear tire test there. From what I understand, both Austin (Dillon) and Martin (Truex Jr.) were happy with the gains made during the test.”
Second wind: “Last year, JTG Daugherty Racing caught it’s second wind and finished the season more consistent and stronger,” Burns said. “We feel like this batch of races, we can do the same thing. We’ve got some good races coming up for us.”
Improving: "We need to shore up several areas to be a championship contender," JTG Daugherty Racing team owner Tad Geschickter said. "I am focused on making choices in those areas."
Chassis 515: “We’ll take what our alliance partners learned at the Chicagoland test and apply to our baseline setup in the car we are bringing, Chassis 515,” Burns said. “We ran this particular car at Kentucky (Speedway) this season.”
October test: “We’re fortunate to be able to test Phoenix (International Raceway) mid-October,” Burns said. “Phoenix has been a good track for us in the past and this test will help us get better. We haven’t tested in a while, but we have a long list of things to try that will help us at any tracks we go to in the future.”
Career Starts: 253
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: Brian Burns
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Thursday, September 17
5:30 PM to 7 PM AJ Autograph Session at
FOOD 4 LESS, 1333 Western Avenue, Chicago Heights, IL 60411