AJ Allmendinger will drive for Phoenix Racing in this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix, scene of one of his NASCAR poles in 2010.
Allmendinger is no stranger to the "Desert Jewel." He has eight previous Cup Series starts at the one-mile oval and has driven to four top-15s and two top-10s. He has started on the front row three times, including one pole in 2010 while driving for Richard Petty's team (ABOVE).
Phoenix Racing has made 16 Cup Series starts at Phoenix. The team's best finish, a ninth, came in 2005 with Johnny Sauter.
"This will be good. It's been a few months since I've been in a stock car," Allmendinger said. "I haven't been in one of the Gen-6 cars yet, so I think it will take a little time to get acclimated to it. Phoenix is a great place for me to get back behind the wheel. I've always enjoyed the racetrack. It will definitely feel different, but I'll be ready to go.
"It definitely helps to go to a track that I enjoy already. It's a tough racetrack, especially with the repave. It starts off so slick when we make our first few laps, then it gains grip. It picks up a ton of grip pretty quickly, then it goes back to being slick for the race. It's definitely a challenging place.
"I know the guys will have a good racecar ready for the weekend. I was really impressed with their run last week at Daytona. It showed that they're putting together solid equipment and have a good feel for the new car. I think for the first 30 to 45 minutes I'll have to ease into it and get used to the new car, but after that, I'll be up to speed and ready to go.
"Of all the tracks we go to, this is one of the most technical and challenging. It takes finesse and you have to hit your marks nearly perfect every time. There's barely any banking, which means it's easy to slip and slide if you come into the corners too hot. You also have to be mindful of your brakes. It's easy to use them up in the early stages of the race and not have any left for the end. I think that's what I enjoy so much about the track. You have to be on top of your game to have a good day there. I'm really looking forward to hopping in the Guy Roofing Chevy this weekend.