NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sprint Showdown
Topics: Sprint Showdown
May 19, 2012
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
KERRY THARP: Let's roll into our post race for the Sprint Showdown. Transferring over to the Sprint All‑Star Race, thanks to his second‑place finish, AJ Allmendinger.
A.J., what a comeback. Pit road with a flat tire. How did you make your way up through the field after that?
A.J. ALLMENDINGER: Fast racecar. I couldn't believe we had a flat tire coming up the green. Guys did a good job to the left sides and get me back out there before I got lapped.
From there, the car was so fast. I could see that I was pulling away from Dale when he was behind me. At that point I knew at least we had a shot at it.
We needed to get that 20 laps and do everything we could. After that, I think I was one of the few cars that had four tires.
Car was just fast. 20 laps is a short amount of time to get there. I gave it everything I had. If I didn't make it, I didn't want it to be for lack of trying.
Everybody in this organization, especially on the 22 car, they're used to winning, used to being in this race. I wasn't going to let them down. I was going to do everything I could to get in there. I was going to wreck trying.
KERRY THARP: Questions for A.J.
Q. When you realized you had the flat tire, you have to go and pit before the race starts, how are you not ready to kill yourself, say, This is over?
A.J. ALLMENDINGER: 10 races of bad luck, getting used to it.
No, I mean, at that point, it is what it is. You can't do anything. Actually, I didn't even‑‑ I was shaking the car around trying to warm the tires up. Gordon was on it, he saw it from the pit box, saw I had a tire low coming with one to go. I really started shaking the car around at that point and really could feel it was flat.
The first five or six laps of the green‑flag run made me feel good. I was driving away from Dale. Whether we had time to get there on a restart or not, I just knew we had a fast car, and that's all you could ask for at that point.
It was getting aggressive at that point. I didn't care if I wrecked. I was going to do everything I could to get there.
Jamie, he's one of the best around this place. We were a little bit free on the first run, so we tightened it up. It was a little bit tight anyway. I was really aero tight. He was good. I could roll a ton of speed on him in the corner. Coming into one, missed the bottom a little bit. At that point it was my only shot. I held it wide open. I didn't care if I bounced off of him, we both wrecked, I didn't care. I figured we practiced last week wrecking together, so I wasn't scared to do it again.
KERRY THARP: A.J., congratulations. Good luck in the next race.
A.J. ALLMENDINGER: Thank you.
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