Allmendinger Starting 27th In Martinsville Battle

March 31, 2012

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 31, 2012) – AJ Allmendinger will start the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge 27th in Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 here at Martinsville Speedway after turning in a lap of 19.779 seconds (95.738 mph) in Saturday's qualifying session.
"We're going back and forth," said Allmendinger, who was the 20th driver out to make his run in the weather-delayed time trial session.  "We're going to keep fighting it and keep learning, that's all we can do. It's definitely not where we want to be. It's kind of weird. It's like all these places I thought I was good at, I kind of suck at right now. All these places I suck at, I'm actually good at.  It's flip-flopped and that's weird."
Allmendinger and his Todd Gordon-led No. 22 Penske Racing team is running a brand new Dodge Charger here this weekend – the "PRS-819" chassis.  When the team struggled here in practice yesterday, they opted to make "a few big changes…not a lot of small adjustments."  Allmendinger was asked if he could pinpoint one area of his car's handling where he is struggling the most.
"No, it's everything," Dinger said.  "There's not one thing. We've got to fix everything. We just kind of go back and forth. There's no happy medium right now. I guess that's a good thing because we can swing the bar back and forth, so we're not just stuck in a box where we're fighting one thing and can't fix it. We just can't fix everything at once. All we can do is just keep going to work and keep fighting and figure out what we need to do to be better. This is one of those racetracks where if you can be clean, be smart, you can still get a good finish out of it. We've got to keep digging. It's not where we want to be."
Kasey Kahne claimed the Coors Light Pole Award here today with his fast lap of 19.496 seconds (97.128 mph).  That edged Kevin Harvick's lap of 19.512 seconds (97.048 mph).  Local Virginia favorite Denny Hamlin starts third after posting a lap of 19.521 seconds (97.003 mph).  Clint Bowyer turned in the identical time as Hamlin, but will start fourth, with the current Sprint Cup point standings being the tie-breaker.  Ryan Newman (lap of 19.524 seconds/96.988 mph) rounded out today's top-five qualifiers.
Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski (seventh with a lap of 19.572 seconds/96.750 mph), Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano round out Sunday's top-10 starters.
Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 (500 laps, 263 miles) has a scheduled 1:00 p.m. EDT starting time.  FOX-TV and MRN Radio will provide live coverage of all the action.