Brushes with the wall didn’t slow Allmendinger

AJ Allmendinger (Photo by Will Schneekloth/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger (Photo by Will Schneekloth/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger (Photo by Will Schneekloth/Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Yes, the addition of 1,600 feet of SAFER barrier on the frontstretch and backstretch at Martinsville Speedway has narrowed the racing surface by roughly 30 inches on the straights.

JTG/Daugherty Racing driver AJ Allmendinger felt the difference almost immediately, putting a “Martinsville stripe” on the side of his No. 47 Chevy during Friday’s opening practice.

Running his car at the edge of control, however, proved good preparation for qualifying. In Friday’s time trials, Allmendinger claimed the third starting spot for Sunday’s race—a career best, and light years better than his average starting position of 20.5 at Martinsville.

“Well, my guys fixed all my mess-ups,” Allmendinger said. “I hit the wall four times in a row in practice, and that was the biggest thing. I thought we had a good car—I just kept trying to destroy it.

“They did a good job and you know (crew chief Brian) Burns and (race engineer Tony) Palmer and my guys, and especially (consultant) Todd (Parrott) coming in has made us better these last few races. I’ve always liked this place and have always been pretty good here. Hopefully, it’s a good start to a really good weekend.”

Allmendinger’s best finish at the .526-mile short track is a second in 2012.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.