Friday, August 29, 2008

Quest for the Shootout

AJ Allmendinger isn’t racing to the Chase. He does, however, have plenty at stake in the final 12 races.

Priority No. 1 is securing the No. 84 a spot in the top 35. He’s 13 points from that mark entering 500 long miles Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. No. 2 is gaining eligibility in the season-opening Shootout at Daytona.

Under format changes that NASCAR announced Tuesday, the top six teams from each manufacturer in the final 2008 car owner standings will run in the annual all-star race. It used to be that only the previous season’s pole winners and past event champions qualified, which rendered obsolete Brian Vickers’ recent Michigan pole. (It’s still a heck of an achievement.)

At 17th, Brian’s No. 83 is the fourth Toyota in line — safe and sound for the Shootout and well ahead of the No. 44 in 28th. AJ’s No. 84 is 36th — eighth of the Toyotas and only 52 points behind the No. 55 in sixth place.

AJ appears to be on his way to reaching both goals. He was third in Friday’s opening practice, with qualifying set for 6:40 p.m. ET. Brian was fifth on the sheet.


Blogger theonlynick said...

goooooo AJ!

3:59 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

Wooohooo!!! Outside front row. Way to go AJ! That was an awesome lap, but dang that pole would have been nice.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

Great job #84 team!

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez if only the #48 team wasn't cheating. Just kidding. Great job RRBT. Both teams are strong this week. Give 'em hell on Sunday!

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Amzy said...

Lol nice Curt.
Good job by A.J. go get em on sunday! a win would be nice since sunday's my birthday! :D
Hopefully that means good luck!

5:59 PM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

If AJ wins on Sunday, I streak.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Congratulations AJ!!!!

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Jason from PA said...

Allmendinger uncertain of driving plans for next season: Red Bull Racing's #84-AJ Allmendinger is still uncertain about whether he will return to his Sprint Cup team next season. The driver has previously stated he'd like to stay with the group, but he says he continues to wait to hear from the team. "Phone is silent as can be from their end," he said. " … I've stated I'd like to be back next year, but I just want an answer. I need to know I'm racing somewhere next year." Almendinger and his team are outside the top 35 in the owner standings, though they have been on the line of making that field and were in it for one week. Allmendinger says that the team has improved to the level where he expects top finishes week to week.( Comment here

grrrrrr why the f is this still an issue!!!!!! What more does he need to do? Maybe he will win this weekend---and we can be done with this bullshizz

10:00 PM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

Red Bull's problem is painfully obvious. They expect to put someone in a car and have IMMEDIATE success. Look at their F1 program. It's not a race team; it's musical chairs over there.

For pete's sake, re-sign AJ! This team has improved beyond belief since 2007, and why Red Bull just sits there really baffles me.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. I honestly thought they would've re-signed AJ by now. I was patient about it last month, but now we're entering September and still no word. Red Bull is starting to piss me off too, it's unprofessional. I hope AJ keeps bugging them about it.

Oh and BV was great on Trackside last night. For those who missed it, I taped his segment and I'll export it onto YouTube later today.

10:32 PM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

It's not just unprofessional; it's pathetic.

Facts are facts. AJ and the 84 crew have made HUGE improvements this year. Especially since Jimmy came along. They have had outstanding qualifying and race runs, and not to knock on BV, but AJ has their only Cup win. Sure, it was the Sprint Showdown, but look at the cars he beat. 83, 6, 9, 38, etc. Those aren't slack operations.

I've been very patient with this for the longest time now, but I'm afraid it's over with. Either re-sign the guy or let him go. AJ needs to know as soon as possible.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If AJ is consistant, THEN he deserves a ride next year. If and only if. Thats what they're looking for I'm sure. Vickers has proven he can do so and now its AJ's turn to prove he can. Sure he can do well in qualifying or finish top 10 some weeks, but I think what they're looking for is whether he can deliver on a week to week basis. He doesn't have to set the world on fire, but racing top 10, crashing, racing top 10, crashing.... owners don't like that. Not knocking AJ, I think he's done great considering what a huge transition he's made ...and made work well. I hope he continues to run up front and keeps his seat next season.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great qualifying run AJ! Second!! Yippeee!

I think Red Bull big whigs in Austria don't understand Nascar yet and don't realize that they are hurting AJ..or they just don't care. Drivers have to know by September if they have to change teams. Owners are now scrambling around looking for drivers and don't wait until October to find a driver. Its now!! If owners don't know if AJ is a free agent, then how can they offer him a driving position. He will be left out in the cold if they don't make up their minds soon. How in the world they could let a talent like AJ go, is beyond me. But, if they are going to be stupid enough to let him go, then, do it now so AJ can look for another ride. He will be snapped up in a minute. If he does go somewhere else, I'm hoping that they give him more seat time such as Red Bull is doing for their weird/strange Scott Speed. More seat time..better results. And, by the way...Scott Speed may be doing well in ARCA and Trucks, but, he's a big fish in a little pond. Not sure if he will be too big in a big pond. (Remember the best drivers in the world are in the big pond).

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe it was Guenther Steiner (ex- Red Bull Racing Team General Manager and VP) that didn't give AJ a good stock car racing development program. But that's behind us now because AJ is becoming one of the best drivers in the Cup ranks as we know it. 2009 will be his season. He just needs to get re-signed asap.

There's no reason to release AJ. The march the 84 has been making in the owner points is outstanding. The chemistry is great. They're building great cars at the shop. They have a great talent driving the car. They have it all and they're improving week after week.

The only conclusion is Red Bull is showing lack of commitment to their NASCAR program.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous tracy said...

I agree. I don't see any way that we will see AJ out of the 84 ride next season. I think it's just that they have little interest in their NASCAR program in the grand scheme of things.

And it's not just the AJ fans that are taking notice. I've begun to see AJ's name pop up on fantasy picks and even a couple of articles are naming him as a dark horse or long shot to win races.

I know he'll be racing next year, but I feel bad for him that he has to wait like this. It has to be somewhat of a distraction to him.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate ESPN!! They only talk to the first two finishers and have to cut away to something that was run earlier!!! Good job BV on the third place run, even though we didn't get to hear about it!

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, espn sucks !!!

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Gangsta said...

I listened to the radio because i dont have cable. They talked to all of the top five drivers!

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and I don't always see eye to eye, but I surely DO appreciate you posting that clip from trackside on YouTube.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're welcome. I've been trying to upload the other 2 parts all weekend but my connection keeps timing out, it's frustrating.

2:48 PM  

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