By Tyler Head
August 7, 2016
WATKINS GLEN – Each time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tour stops at a road course, all eyes are on AJ Allmendinger and the JTG Daugherty Racing team.
This weekend at Watkins Glen
International is no different. Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen is
likely Allmendinger’s last best chance to win a race and make the
Chase for the Sprint Cup for the second time in his career.
Despite what is at stake, Allmendinger says his team isn’t feeling any extra pressure.
“I don’t care what weekend it is. I’m always going to put the most pressure on myself, but in the end it’s just another race,” Allmendinger said after final practice Friday. “All I can do is go out there and drive my butt off.”
Driving hard won’t be enough to make it to Victory Lane, though. Earlier this season at the Sonoma Raceway, Allmendinger led several laps and was in contention for the win late, but a penalty in his final pit stop ended the team’s hopes of victory.
Allmendinger and crew know they need to avoid such costly errors.
“As a race team all we can do is go work the hardest that we can, try to make no mistakes or minimize our mistakes,” Allmendinger said. “If we are meant to win then we go win.”
Allmendinger’s Kroger/Kingsford Chevrolet SS was at the top of the board at the end of Happy Hour, but only after some much needed adjustments by crew chief Randall Burnett.
think you’ve seen on my facial expressions today just not very
happy. We got it closer,” Allmendinger said. “It’s still not
amazing, but it’s got speed in it at least.”
His No. 47 is in the ballpark. Even if Allmendinger and company aren’t feeling the pressure, the onus is on them to perform this weekend. A strong qualifying run would make their task easier on Sunday.