Friday, September 26, 2014

Allmendinger: "I Care About This Team So Much"

AJ Allmendinger and JTG Daugherty Racing were a longshot to qualify for the 2014 Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup. A win at Watkins Glen International in early August got that job done, however, and now, the “Little Race Team That Could” is one race away from advancing to the Contender’s Round.

After a disappointing, 22nd-place finish in the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago, Allmendinger righted the ship with a solid, 13th-place showing in New Hampshire last Sunday. A similar result this weekend at Dover International Speedway should advance the No. 47 Hungry Jack Chevrolet into the rarified air of NASCAR’s second playoff round, and Allmendinger said today that his team is up to the challenge.
“For us, it isn’t a different outlook,” he said. “No one really expected us to be here, anyway. I’m just going to go out there and give it everything I have.”
The California native said he and his team must continue to elevate their performance, if they hope to advance to the next round.
“We just have to run better,” he said. “Last week was a decent run, but we have to go out there this weekend, make sure we maximize every lap we are on the race track and get our car good for Sunday. Whatever happens in the race happens. I’m not going to worry about who is around me in points or anything like that. I just want to go out there and give everything I have. At the end of the day, if it is enough to make it to the next round, then great. If not, that’s all we can do.
We work hard,” said Allmendinger. “We have a lot of great partners, (but) we are a small team. We don’t have the biggest budget in the world. Tad and Jodi Geschickter and Brad Daugherty -- especially Tad and Jodi -- this is their life. When it comes to this race team, I care more than I ever have, because I feel like it is my team. I see on a daily basis what Tad and Jodi go through to make sure (that) all of us on this race team have what we need to go out there and be our best.
“Because of that, I take everything to heart, whether we run well or run bad. I take it personally. I care about this team so much. What Tad and Jodi have done for me on the personal side -- the relationship I’ve built with them and to be part of their family -- that is what I take to heart.
“The last couple of weeks my crew chief, Brian Burns and my engineer, Tony Palmer, have come to the race track more prepared than I have ever seen them. If we could make it to the next round, (it’s amazing) what it would do for this race team, for our sponsors (and) all that comes with it.”

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