Monday, September 22, 2008

Painful, But Productive, Day


Certain his shoulders would ache in five hours, AJ Allmendinger rested with his feet up in the No. 84 hauler, eyes and ears tuned to NFL action on the flat screen.

“Not just ache,” he said, “but pain. It just hurts. This is such a tough race.”

Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway delivered everything AJ expected on his way to a 16th-place finish — a flurry of yellow flags, pit strategy, the car’s tight condition and a body sure to hurt Monday morning.

AJ was running fourth just before the halfway point, but the No. 84 grew progessively tighter in the second half, prompting AJ to relay by radio that "turning is non-existent."

The team later discovered that a broken track bar mount probably didn’t help the handling.

“I think it broke right before our pit strategy put us in the top five because the last two runs, we were just way too tight,” AJ said. “It wasn’t a top-five car, but I thought we could maybe get right there around 12th or 13th and see what happened, and that’s kind of where we were running. After that, it was just tighter than it had been all day.”

AJ’s sixth top-20 finish in the past 10 races moved the No. 84 up two spots to 34th in the car owner standings.

Teammate Brian Vickers battled grip issues all afternoon. Hardly ever could he carry speed through the corners or run the bottom. No series of adjustments seemed to help the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, and when they did near the lap-350 mark, it was too late.

Brian finished 31st and dropped one spot in points to 17th.

“If we still want that 13th spot — which we do — we need to get our stuff together,” he said. “I don’t know what was wrong, but we had no grip all day. I was running as fast as the car was going to let me through the corners.”

15 Comments:

Anonymous Frank from NH said...

I'm another fan hoping and believing that Red Bull will sign an extension for AJ. Not because I feel sorry for him, but because it is the best thing for the 84 team in my opinion.

An interesting observation though... SS lost his ride at Toro Rosso in part to make room for 2 drivers. One, S. Vettel who just recorded the teams first win, and two, S. Bourdais who is the 3 time CART champ, that AJ was beating for the half year that he was with Forsythe. Interesting the way things have turned out especially since Toro Rosso (especially G. Berger) did not want Scott Speed, and Forsythe was extremely dissaponted to lose AJ.

Don't get me wrong, I have followed all 3 drivers and consider each of them great drivers. I especially like to follow them since neither of them were handed a "ready made - hand fed competitive ride." I just think it would be a bad decision for the 84 team to replace AJ now that they are progressing and I would just love to see what the team would be able to do in 09.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you printing a story on how great AJ did yesterday when you are pulling him out of the car this week and giving it to SS????

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Red Bull even realize that without dropped cylinders and getting taken out at Bristol, AJ has outperformed Vickers over the last 8 races?

9:50 AM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

Allmendinger is on the Kansas entry list, so we'll see.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger got the word Wednesday that he will not be back at Red Bull Racing's NASCAR [#84] team next year. He'll be replaced, no doubt, by Scott Speed.(Toronto Star)(9-22-2008)

10:10 AM  
Anonymous tracy said...

The preliminary entry list doesn't mean a lot. They pretty much have those ready made because there is a deadline for entry. I fully expect Skinner to run Kansas and Dega, and Scott to be in there for the Lowe's race.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Gerhard Berger said...

Congrats A.J, for all that hard work you did it will lock your "buddy"..lol Scott Speed into the first 5 race next year. I'm certain he will thank you for it. Can't wait to see what happend when that 41 car gets around the 84 next year.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous natalie said...

Yeah I understand that it is Monday and the entry list is out, but when AJ was replaced earlier this year the announcement was made on Sunday and everyone knew Monday that Skinner would be in the car. Well if he doesn't test the 84 tomorrow, majority of our questions will be answered.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, I guess the team Red Bull people do read this blog, sweet! Glad to see 'Dinger will make at least one more start. Go AJ, we believe!!!!

1:55 PM  
Anonymous natalie said...

Allmendinger out of #84....soon? to the #41? UPDATE 2: Could AJ Allmendinger be just days away from completing a deal to drive the #41 Target-sponsored car for Chip Ganassi? And did Allmendinger drive his final race in the #84 Toyota? (Yahoo Sports), hearing Allmendinger could well be out of the #84 ride after Dover with Mike Skinner running the car at Kansas and Scott Speed running some races in the car the rest of the season.(9-22-2008)
UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger got the word Wednesday that he will not be back at Red Bull Racing's NASCAR [#84] team next year. He'll be replaced, no doubt, by Scott Speed.(Toronto Star)(9-22-2008)
UPDATE 2: Mike Skinner reportedly will test A.J. Allmendinger's #84 Toyota Camry in this week's two-day open test at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. Officially, Allmendinger is still in the car for this weekend's Kansas City race, but that's very tenuous and likely to change. Skinner drove Allmendinger's car five times last spring as Team Red Bull called on his years of stock car experience to evaluate the #84. If Skinner replaces Allmendinger this weekend--or at Talladega or Charlotte next month--it will open the door for former Formula One driver Scott Speed to run in Sprint Cup. (He can run up to six races this fall and remain eligible for a 2009 Rookie of the Year effort with Team Red Bull). The shuffling is contingent on Team Red Bull working with Ganassi-Sabates Racing to get Allmendinger into the #41 Dodge currently driven by Reed Sorenson. Team Red Bull expects to confirm this weekend's driver lineup later on Monday or Tuesday.(Autoweek)From jayski.com

2:59 PM  
Anonymous 84 said...

per jayski...

"Mike Skinner reportedly will test A.J. Allmendinger's #84 Toyota Camry in this week's two-day open test at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. Officially, Allmendinger is still in the car for this weekend's Kansas City race, but that's very tenuous and likely to change."

Looks like redbull is looking at skinner to keep the 84 in the top 35 so it can be handed to SS in 09'.

Also looks like RB is working on a deal to put AJ in the 41 for the remainder of this season....

"The shuffling is contingent on Team Red Bull working with Ganassi-Sabates Racing to get Allmendinger into the #41 Dodge currently driven by Reed Sorenson."

5:14 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

From Jayski:

UPDATE 2: Mike Skinner reportedly will test A.J. Allmendinger's #84 Toyota Camry in this week's two-day open test at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. Officially, Allmendinger is still in the car for this weekend's Kansas City race, but that's very tenuous and likely to change. Skinner drove Allmendinger's car five times last spring as Team Red Bull called on his years of stock car experience to evaluate the #84. If Skinner replaces Allmendinger this weekend--or at Talladega or Charlotte next month--it will open the door for former Formula One driver Scott Speed to run in Sprint Cup. (He can run up to six races this fall and remain eligible for a 2009 Rookie of the Year effort with Team Red Bull). The shuffling is contingent on Team Red Bull working with Ganassi-Sabates Racing to get Allmendinger into the #41 Dodge currently driven by Reed Sorenson. Team Red Bull expects to confirm this weekend's driver lineup later on Monday or Tuesday.

5:52 PM  
Blogger louiskart said...

I really understand that it is Monday and the entry list is out, but when AJ was replaced earlier this year the announcement was made on Sunday and everyone knew Monday that Skinner would be in the car. Well if he doesn't test the 84 tomorrow, majority of our questions will be answered. Nice blog
you have here

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't credit Red Bull for "working a deal" to get AJ in the 41!

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just think they should look at what they are giving A.J. to drive. They are really asking him to do the impossible. Even Skinner said A.J. wasn't the problem with the team. A.J. was Red Bull's biggest asset and now they are going to let him go. That is just really smart on their part.

8:44 AM  

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