Monday, August 15, 2011

Richard Petty Motorsports Race Recap

Richard Petty, aka "the King", owns a team and the two drivers lucky enough to drive for him are Marcos Ambrose and A.J. Allmendinger. From now until the end of the season I'll be recapping the team after every race, regardless of whether or not these drivers make it into the Chase. They still have to race every weekend and their performance plays a huge role in their careers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

As the latest winner, Ambrose also is now a part of the Sprint
Summer Showdown set for Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Marcos Ambrose is known as a road course master. Ambrose started in third position with a car that was pretty fast during practice. He followed his teammate to the front of the pack for the second spot on lap two and held on; they had a sizable lead on lap five. By the ninth lap, his teammate Allmendinger is forced out of first place and Ambrose takes the lead; he holds the lead and lap 15, he’s 2.1 seconds ahead. Ambrose pits on the 17th lap and eventually regains the lead on lap 30 until lap 38, when he pitted for four tires and a track bar adjustment. He ran in 13th position on lap 55 and was able to regain the lead by lap 61 and held on until he pitted on lap 64. On lap 73, Ambrose passes Martin Truex Jr. for 3rd and raced ahead and on lap lap 81 he’s closed in on leader Kyle Busch by .5 seconds.

On the final restart Kyle Busch and Ambrose go for the checkered flag with Brad Keselowski close behind. After Busch nearly loses the car and is shuffled back a bit Ambrose and Keselowski continue to race for the win taking the white flag. Ambrose is able to pass the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge in turn 5 and holds the lead until the caution flag flies signifying the end of the race. Ambrose wins his very first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, becoming the fifth first-time winner this season.


picture by Genevieve Cadorette
A.J. Allmendinger started in the front row in second position today and was able to take the lead immediately. Allmendinger led the first eight laps until  Kurt Busch re-entered the course after having to pit under green. Busch was right behind Allmendinger and although, a lap behind, he ‘forced’ the No. 43 car into the grass. Allmendinger slid across the field which caused thick piles of grass to get caught in his grille. There was some damage to his car which forced him to pit under green and changes the strategy for the No. 43 team.

Allmendinger was clearly upset with the No. 22 and made it very clear on his radio as re-entered the race in 35th position. By lap 27 Allmendinger had reached the 18th position. He was able to re-enter the top-10 in ninth spot on lap 47. Allmendinger fluctuated with positions, pitted on lap 50, and by the 72nd lap was in the 12th position.  In the end, Allmendinger finished 8th and moved up a spot to 16th in the points for the Chase to the Sprint Cup.

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