Allmendinger Q and A

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion met with members of the media as part of the top-12 driver availability at Dover International Speedway Friday afternoon.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS TRACK THAT SUITS YOUR STYLE BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN GOOD HERE OVER THE YEARS?  “I don’t know. I think it is a fun race track to drive and I think there are a lot of things you can do on this race track to get around it and run pretty fast. The way I look at it there are different driving options of how you drive this race track to be fast. I have always had a fairly good car here, especially the last couple of years which makes it easier. To me, I just show up to this race track and I am excited to be here. I like this race track. I think when you are able to do that you can come here and have a good attitude about it and be pretty fast.”

WITH THE FORECAST OF RAIN FROM TONIGHT ON, HOW MUCH WILL THAT PLAY A FACTOR FOR YOU GUYS?  “Well you are kind of a downer aren’t you?  Way to get me excited. You know, it is weather. If it is going to rain then it will and if not then we will go run these two practices and focus on what we always focus on, making the car good in race trim and work on qualifying trim when we are ready. Once it rains, it rains and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. My first year I was here many times when it would rain and I wasn’t high enough in points to race. I have been on the bad end of it. Now I know that whenever it does stop raining, I will be racing. That is all that matters.”

CAN YOU DESCRIBE DROPPING OFF THE STRAIGHTAWAY, DOWN INTO THE CORNER AND GETTING BACK INTO THE GAS?  “It is pretty insane, especially to go into turn one. It feels like the bottom drops out from under you. It seems like it disappears when you take off and once it lands it is like a punch to the guy. When it compresses, it compresses so hard. It feels like you honestly drop 50 feet in the air and land. The biggest thing is around this place to have a good balance when it does land that the car isn’t moving around at all and isn’t tight or loose. You want it to land nice and smooth and have the confidence to get it turned and get back to throttle, especially in qualifying. In the race you lay the corner back so much that the bottom, when it lands, is not as critical. In qualifying you are so fast that once you land you have to be back in the throttle. That is what makes it so much fun. I remember the first time I came here was in trucks in 2007 before Cup practice. We were standing on pit road and my crew chief told me not to look at any of the trucks coming off turn for and I said, “Why, I need to learn.’ Me, being done said I was going to look and Hornaday came off turn four the first time and it looked like the tires weren’t even touching the ground and he was sideways and I was like, ‘I am not doing that. I am leaving.’ It is an insane race track but it is all those characteristics that make it so much fun.”

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