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Mixed emotions for 3rd place Allmendinger.


While delighted with his third place in the Daytona 500, AJ Allmendinger admitted that it could have been an even better result for the Richard Petty Motorsports team.

On a lap 146 restart, and just nine laps before NASCAR officials decided to throw the red flag as rain descended on Daytona International Speedway, Allmendinger's RPM team-mate Elliott Sadler had been leading the race, with the squad's third entry, driven by Reed Sorenson, sitting in third spot and Allmendinger fourth.

However, three laps after the race went green, Matt Kenseth received a push from the fast-charging Kevin Harvick and took the lead. Sorensen, meanwhile, got moved high up the banking by Harvick, dropping him back down the order.

Allmendinger, meanwhile, reacted quickly to the move, ducking in behind Harvick so that, when the caution for Aric Almirola's second spin of the day – and the ensuing red for rain that arrived during the caution – he was sitting pretty in third spot, claiming a podium finish when his first appearance in the blue riband event was finally curtailed 48 laps early.

“I was hoping it was going to rain when Elliott was leading and Reed was second and I was fourth - that would have been a really great result for the team,” the Champ Car convert confessed.

“But Kevin had a great run and got under me, [and] that kind of shuffled Reed out. I had to kind of dive down with him because I was going to get really shuffled out if I didn't get back in line.”

Allmendinger had special reason for hoping that his two team-mates got the result their showing in the first three-quarters of the race appeared to deserve. Needing to race his way into the 500, the #44 Valvoline Dodge driver received help from both Sadler and Sorenson to make it through his Gatorade Duel.

“I was trying to push Reed and Elliott as much as I could,” he revealed, “They are the ones that got me into the race, so ii was my turn to return the favour and try to get them the win.

“Elliott and Reed were a big factor of why I got into this race - that was a lot of teamwork that was involved to get that to happen. Like I said, I wish it would have rained a little bit earlier so we could have had a Cinderella story, had Elliott and all of us in the top five.”



Related Pictures

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AJ Allmendinger at Daytona [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, has an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #44 Albertsons Co./Shore Lodge Ford, talks to team owner Richard Petty in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, rookie driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS captures the pole Sunday, February 14, 2016 during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Elliott, who takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon, is the youngest driver ever to win the pole. He will lead the pack at the start of the February 21 race. (Photo by HHP/ Rusty Jarrett for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and his crew members pose in Victory Lane after winning the pole award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, pose with the Daytona 500 Pole Award and Front Row Award after qualifying for the pole position and front row for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Clorox Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, October 30, 2015 for Sunday`s first round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 WESCO Chevrolet, and Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, and AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 House Autry Chevrolet, talk on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 8, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, and Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, pit during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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April 28, 2010 2:23 AM

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AJ Fan - Unregistered

February 16, 2009 4:28 PM

Awesome Job AJ you stayed out of trouble, used your head and it paid off. Keep it up. Have to say I like all the Petty drivers and hope the best for all of them. :)



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