No Honeymoon in Poconos
A confusing series of pit strategies played into AJ Allmendinger’s favor Sunday at Pocono Raceway, helping him to a “cheap” 19th-place finish in the Pennsylvania 500.
Frustratingly loose and hardly worthy of a top-20 day, the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota last pitted on lap 166. But as fuel mileage unfolded in the end and competitors’ cars ran dry, AJ stole a handful of spots and gained 25 points on the top 35.
“We were 35th all day and once again, that’s what Jimmy (Elledge, crew chief) and the boys are so good at now is the strategy,” AJ said. “He played it right, knowing that most of those guys couldn’t make it on fuel and we would pick up some cheap spots with that and we did.”
The No. 84 remained 37th in the car owner standings, 38 points from AJ’s first stress-free qualifying day.
Teammate Brian Vickers last pitted on lap 163 to maintain track position, but he eventually fell victim to fuel mileage. The No. 83 ran out of gas on the final lap and crept home in 28th.
Brian is 16th in points — 203 from the Chase’s 12th and final berth.