|Allmendinger returns this weekend|
Allmendinger and Phoenix Racing claimed an 11th-place finish at Phoenix two weeks ago, and the California native said he's anxious to rejoin the Spartanburg, S.C.-based team to tackle the high banks of the half-mile oval known as "Thunder Valley."
Allmendinger's first-ever Cup Series start came at Bristol in 2007. This weekend will mark his 11th Cup race at the track. He has claimed four Top-20 finishes and one Top-15, with a best finish of 12th in 2011. Phoenix Racing scored its best Cup Series finish at Bristol last season, taking the checkered flag in 18th place with driver Kurt Busch.
"I'm really excited to go racing with Phoenix Racing again,” said Allmendinger. “We had a great race at Phoenix a couple of weeks ago and I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Guy Roofing Chevy. We're off to a good start and now it's about keeping the momentum rolling.
"Bristol is a crazy track,” he said. “Before the most recent resurfacing, you would have two-wide and three-wide racing there. Now that they've ground up some of the top groove, it's a little closer to what Bristol used to be like. There's not quite as much room and you have to be more aggressive in making passes. You're seeing more bumping and banging now and it seems like everyone's patience is shorter than usual.
"You need to stay out of trouble,” said Allmendinger. “There have been countless drivers with good cars who've been caught up in wrecks and had to watch the checkered flag from the garage. We've got to keep our car in one piece. It's also important to have a car that can work the bottom groove. If you can make passes down low, you're going to have a good race. You've got to know when to be aggressive and when to back off. Sometimes aggression is your best friend at Bristol, and sometimes it's your worst enemy.
“Keep your emotions in check or you'll probably make some decisions you regret.”