Allmendinger Back with Phoenix Racing [Editor's Note: he's just playing IndyCar like a fiddle until he gets a full-time NASCAR ride again] After a successful outing with the No. 51 team at Phoenix International Raceway, A.J. Allmendinger will pair with Phoenix Racing again this week at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500. Allmendinger will pilot the Guy Roofing Chevrolet in his second Sprint Cup Series event of 2013.
Allmendinger and Phoenix Racing raced to an 11th-place finish in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 two weeks ago. 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 Motor Speedway in 2007. This weekend will mark his 11th Cup race at the track. He's garnered four top-20s and one top-15, and started on the front row in one event. His best finish is 12th place, which he scored in 2011. Phoenix Racing scored its best Cup Series finish at Bristol last season. The team took the checkers in 18th place with Kurt Busch behind the wheel.
A.J. Allmendinger comments on racing the No. 51 Guy Roofing Chevy at Bristol:
"I'm really excited to go racing with Phoenix Racing again. 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. 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 a little more aggressive in making passes. You're seeing more bumping and banging now and it seems like everyone's patience is a little shorter than usual.
"There are a few keys to us having a good day. Of course you need to stay out of trouble. Needless to say, 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. I'm confident that the guys have prepared a good Guy Roofing Chevrolet for me and we have a good weekend ahead of us."
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