Allmendinger out for the upset at Watkins Glen


Earlier today, A.J. Allmendinger put up a strong qualifying effort for tomorrow’s Cheez-It 355 at the Glen, placing fourth on the grid for the single-car JTG Daugherty Racing outfit.

Tomorrow’s event will mark Allmendinger’s first road race since winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ event at Road America in June, and the former Champ Car World Series standout believes that he has a chance to pull off what would be a big victory for both himself and his team this weekend.

“We tested here and the car was really good and we just had some little things off yesterday [in practice],” he said on Saturday. “So, the guys worked really hard and kind of back to where it felt normal.

“I still think we need to improve it a little bit, but for this small, one-car team everybody works so hard…It’s a fun group to be a part of. I think if we hit it right tomorrow we have a shot at this thing.”

However, he noted that he’ll have to contend with multiple drivers that will also be threats such as two-time defending Watkins Glen race winner (and Sunday’s pole sitter) Marcos Ambrose, Clint Bowyer and Sonoma winner Martin Truex Jr. – all of whom will start ahead of Allmendinger’s No. 47 Toyota Camry tomorrow.

“It’s one of those things that you can’t pick one guy,” he said. “That’s what makes the Sprint Cup Series so hard, especially these road course races. You could usually pick out a handful of guys and say, ‘Okay, these are the guys to worry about,’ but you can’t even do that anymore.

“I think there will be a legit 10, 15 guys that can win this race.”