Editor’s Note: The full audio interview with AJ Allmendinger will run Tuesday June 16, 2015 at 7:00pm (EST) on The Pit Stop with Tim Disspain and Steven Wilson. Listen in at http://nascarne.ws/1dGpsp2
As laps were winding down and Marcus Ambrose closing in AJ Allmendinger took the checkered flag at Watkins Glen to not only win his first Sprint Cup race for himself and JTG Daugherty Racing but to lock himself into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Finishing up the season would net the team two Top-10 finishes and a 13th place in the final points standings a career high.
“I was happy to get team owners Tad and Jodi(Geschickter) a race win finally and of course Brad Daugherty. “ said Allmendinger “It just goes to show how hard the team had been working over the years to get to this point and finally be locked into the chase against some tough competition”
With the 2014 season behind them and looking forward to the successes to build on starting the season off with back-to-back Top-10s back at Atlanta and Las Vegas to kick the season into high gear. What’s really changed the focus for Allemdinger in the mid part of the season is the announcement of a five-year extension to his contract, keeping him in the set at JTG Daugherty Racing through the end of the 2020 racing season.
“I really want to move forward and keep moving JTG Racing forward as a team. However it just made it simple for me in what Tad has done for me not just on the racetrack but off the track in my career over the last year, and if this is where I want to finish out my career then great”
Allmendinger and JTG Daugherty Racing are in a position that not many other smaller teams are in. Having been able week in and out to fill up the car with national brands who are not only helping to fund Allmendinger in the car through the 2020 season, but to help with the development of the single car team and the help they are getting from teams such as Richard Childress Racing.
Team owner Tad Geschickter and wife Jodi stared JTG Racing back in 1994 competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with limited support and sponsorship after a career working for Proctor and Gamble. Moving full-time into the Sprint Cup Series in 2009 and partnering with basketball legend and former TV announcer Brad Daugherty.
“We still have some things to work on as far as the team goes, but when it comes to sponsors and partnerships Tad really has it locked down coming from Proctor and Gamble. He’s been able to go to names such as Hungry Jack who we have on the car for the fourth time this year at Michigan which is also sort of a hometown race for them being based in Ohio. But also have Kroger, Kingsford, and others who’s really backing us all season long which is really helping us focus on the season as we move along”
As we move into the summer stretch of the season with the road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glen where Allmendinger got locked into the chase in 2014 are looking like two good shots for a visit to victory lane for the team.
“The road courses jump out being my back ground coming from open when racing growing up. Sonoma and Watkins Glen will be the few that will really stand out to me. It’s so tough wherever you go. Take Sonoma, you show up and it’s like I’m going to be the guy to beat but in the last 10 races there have been multiple winners. So it’s tough no matter where you go, but I’m defiantly looking forward to it and the rest of the season”