RACE: Auto Club 400
DATE/TIME: March 20th / 3:30 PM ET
Start: 11th
Finish: Eighth
AJ Allmendinger and the JTG Daugherty Racing team earned their first top-10 (eighth-place) of the season with the No. 47 Food4Less/SCOTT Products Chevrolet SS at Auto Club Speedway Sunday afternoon. Now, they are 19th in the points standings, only two points out of the top 16.

“It’s nice to leave Fontana (Auto Club Speedway) with a top-10 finish for our sponsors,” Allmendinger said. “Our No. 47 Food4Less/SCOTT Products Chevrolet SS was really good for about 20 laps on each run. The take-off speed was awesome and I don’t know, I just couldn’t get the thing to last for a whole run.  We just kind of struggled there at the end on each run, but the short-run speed was a lot of fun. I thought we were as competitive as anybody on short-run speed.  We just needed something there for the last 10 to 15 laps.  We will work on it.  The pit crew was awesome.  They had great stops all day.

“It was a good catch by our crew to see the burnt gear and make that change before the race,” Allmendinger said. “From the sound of it, it’s not something you really notice. The detail they put into building these race cars and going over them was big. They caught it and it saved our day.  It was tough starting in the back, but I didn’t realize I had driven through half the field so quick.  The car was so fast.  We just need to work on trying to figure out these tires with this package and what makes the car last a little longer.

“To finish in the top-10, is just important with this whole West Coast swing,” Allmendinger said. “It’s important especially after an okay run at Daytona (International Speedway), a fast car at Atlanta (Motor Speedway), we but didn’t get anything out of it and then we got the penalty on top of it.  To come out to the West Coast go 14th, 17th and then an eighth, that might puts us really close to the top 16 as we go into Easter break. It gives us big momentum for everybody here at the shop. We’ll just keep digging.”

“We had a fast car all weekend and we qualified 11th with it,” crew chief Randall Burnett said. “We had a problem after practice and it was something we looked at on the car that we didn’t like and decided we needed to change it out and that made us have to start at the rear of the field. We had a good car and AJ drove clear up through there all the way up into the top 15 after the first 30 laps. The car was great all day and AJ did a good job and worked hard on managing tires. We had one tire that we got worried about coming apart in the middle of the race so we had to make a pit stop under green. We lost valuable track position with that and the way the cautions fell we were able to still stay on the lead lap, but we lost all our track position and he had to drive back up through there again. All in all, it was a great day for the No. 47 Food4Less/SCOTT Products Chevrolet SS.  We got a top-10 out of it. The car is in nice shape and AJ is pumped. It’s a great day for Kroger, Food4Less, SCOTT Products, Clorox, Kingsford, BUSH’S Beans, Nestlé, Hungry Jack, Glad, Better Than Bouillon, Hidden Valley, Core Power, Charter Spectrum and all our sponsors.  We’re looking forward to getting back from the West Coast and having a weekend off and then we will go on to Martinsville (Speedway) to do a little short track racing.”

“I think our car has been knocking on the door of the top 10 and today we finished it off,” team owner Tad Geschickter said. “The pit crew was solid. Randall made good calls. We had a No. 47 Food4Less/SCOTT Products Chevrolet SS that was fast. We had a little adversity having to start in the rear of the field, but AJ did a heck of a job and dug all day long.”

“It was a good day and we are approaching a weekend off having our best finish of the year,” competition director Ernie Cope said. “It was a good solid day. Our cars have been good these last four weeks. We’ve just been trying to put a whole race together. It’s been fun seeing this team get better every week. I believe there are a lot of great things to come.”


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Career Starts: 268
Wins:            1
Top-fives:     7
Top-10s:      39
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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