Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away
Maybe a little Friday afternoon shower isn’t such a bad thing after all. Rainy days at the race track creep along ridiculously slow, but both Red Bull Racing Toyotas — finally — can breathe easy should Mother Nature pay a visit when it’s go time.
The box score doesn’t show it, but AJ Allmendinger’s 33rd-place finish Sunday at New Hampshire was a significant achievement. His No. 84 leap-frogged the Nos. 49 and 55 in the owner standings, meaning Allmendinger, for now, is guaranteed a spot in the show if it rains.
How, you ask?
Deep in the protocol for determining a starting lineup lies a statistic called “qualifying attempts.” The No. 84 has 27 of those, as do most cars, but the No. 84 is 46th in owner points — one spot ahead of the No. 55 and two better than the No. 49.
Three times weather has dissed Allmendinger, but no more, not as long as the No. 84 maintains or improves its status (the car is 65 points from 44th). And we all know Brian Vickers’ No. 83 is the first non-top 35 car locked in based on BV’s victory last fall at Talladega.
This is much easier than sweating out another go-or-go-home situation, and it’s good for the first five races of 2008, too.
For the record, Friday’s forecast in Dover calls for plenty of sun and a meager 20-percent chance of precipitation. So both Red Bulls must show up stout, something they don’t mind doing. BV’s made seven of the past eight races; AJ the past four.