Weekend Preview: Allmendinger Looking To Make Texas Race A ‘Fun Afternoon’

RELEASE

FORT WORTH (April 2, 2009) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the Lone Star state this weekend for the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The event is the seventh of 36 on the Sprint Cup Series’ regular-season schedule. Seven Dodge Chargers are guaranteed spots in a field of 43 for Sunday’s race. Dodge has two wins at TMS including Kasey Kahne’s victory at the spring event in 2006.

AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Super 8 Dodge Charger) has used consistency to work his way up to 15th in the Cup driver point standings. His ninth-place showing last weekend in Martinsville moves the Richard Petty Motorsports driver within 35 points of the coveted top 12. The top 12 drivers in the point standings after the first 26 races will compete for the Sprint Cup in the final 10 events of the season.

“I’m pretty pumped about Texas,” said Allmendinger. “We ran real well at Atlanta before that yellow (flag) screwed up everyone. If our No. 44 is as good at Texas as it was in Atlanta, then Texas could be a fun afternoon. The Petty team is getting better and better at the 1.5-mile tracks.”

If there’s anyone who understands the excitement of Allmendinger, it’s his veteran crew chief Sammy Johns who has watched his playful 28 year-old driver race his way to a top-five and two top-10 finishes in the first six Cup events.

“AJ’s got a great feel for the race car,” Johns said. “What he tells you, you can adjust something and he goes out and goes faster with it. I feel like his feel for the car and what the four tires are doing is real good and that’s key to the crew chief getting that proper information back and not have to second guess (the driver). When he tells you what he needs, you can give it to him and he’ll go out there and go faster with it.”

Other Notes:
* *******Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) has scored four top-15 finishes in six races in 2009. After six races in 2008, Busch was third in the point standings, 132 behind the leader.
* *******Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) has collected five wins and 19 top-10 finishes (37 percent) on 1.5-mile tracks during his Sprint Cup career which began in 2004. Kahne started from the pole and won the 2006 spring event at TMS.
* *******David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) has one top-10 in four career starts at TMS.
* *******Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger) has started from the front row twice in 14 career starts at TMS. Sadler was the event winner in 2004 while driving for Yates Racing.

2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Starts Wins Top 5s Top 10s Poles Laps Led DNF’s Avg. Finish Earnings
Kurt Bush 6 1 2 3 0 237 0 11.3 $970,363
Kasey Kahne 6 0 1 2 0 1 0 13.8 $1,090,980
David Stremme 6 0 0 0 0 3 0 21.3 $943,163
Elliott Sadler 6 0 1 1 0 24 0 21.7 $1,004,540
Reed Sorenson 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 22.8 $989,579
AJ Allmendinger 6 0 1 2 0 0 0 17.8 $1,260,260
Sam Hornish Jr. 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 29.7 $803,353

NASCAR SPRINT CUP
SERIES POINT STANDINGS
(Top 12 after 6 of 36 races)

1. Jeff Gordon 959 points

2. Clint Bowyer -89

3. Kurt Busch -132

4. Jimmie Johnson -142

5. Denny Hamlin -148

6. Kyle Busch -159

7. Tony Stewart -161

8. Carl Edwards -209

9. Kasey Kahne -214

10. Kevin Harvick -245

11. David Reutimann -249

12. Matt Kenseth -255

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
OWNER POINT STANDINGS
(Top 12 after 6 of 36 races)

30. Reed Sorenson 569 points
31. Robby Gordon 485
32. Sam Hornish Jr. 324
33. John Andretti 455
34. Joey Logano 437
35. Paul Menard 414
36. David Gilliland 411
37. Aric Almirola 387
38. Scott Speed 386

What You Need To Know
The Race: Samsung 500
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, April 5
The Time: 3:17 p.m. (ET) green flag
The Track: 1.5-mile tri-oval
The Distance: 334 laps/501 miles
TV: FOX, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Radio: SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)

Friday, April 3
1:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice (SPEED)
2:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
3:30 p.m. – Daytona 500 Memories (SPEED)
4:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Qualifying – Texas (SPEED)
6:30 p.m. – NASCAR Smarts (SPEED)
7:00 p.m. – Trackside at Texas (SPEED)

Saturday, April 4
11:00 a.m. – Trackside at Texas (SPEED)
12:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice (SPEED)
1:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Final Practice (SPEED)
3:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Race – Texas (ESPN2)
8:00 p.m. – NASCAR Performance (SPEED)

Sunday, April 5
11:30 a.m. – NASCAR RaceDay (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Pre-Race Show (Fox)
2:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Race – Texas (Fox)
7:00 p.m. – SPEED Report (SPEED)
8:00 p.m. – NASCAR Victory Lane (SPEED)
9:00 p.m. – Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain (SPEED)

- 30 -