Hi all,

Sorry for the long delay in getting you a new diary. After San Jose, I just didn't have a whole lot to say! I decided to take a few days and go spend some time up in Aspen. It was great to get away for a few days and recharge.

Denver was our team's home race and one of mine as I live there. Because our team is based just outside of Denver, we had a full week of appearances and things to do. Wednesday Justin and I played in a celebrity poker, billiards and bowling tournament for charity. It was something different and they had a great turnout. I'm proud to say my team won the bowling portion of the event. You may not know this, but I'm a pretty decent bowler, I have to say...

Justin was the last driver to make it to the final round in the poker portion. So, it wasn't such a bad showing for us! Thursday we joined Sebastien Bourdais and Oriol Servia to make a visit to the Denver Ronald McDonald House. It's a place for parents and seriously ill children to have a home away from home while staying in the hospital. It was a lot of fun to race remote control cars with the kids and against the other drivers. Then it was on to press conferences and a street party for the Grand Prix.

I felt pretty good about my driving heading into Denver. The track is one I've always done well on. In 2003, I won there to clinch the Toyota Atlantic championship and last year I got a top-five in my first year in Champ Cars. My goal this time was to qualify in the top-five. I accomplished that, holding on to a fourth-place start for the race by the end of Saturday's final qualifying.

Sunday's race was okay. For as bad as my car was, it was a great finish. If you watched the race, I ended up running second in the closing stint. My car was going off and I was hoping I could hold on to second but Mario Dominguez was coming on hard and I was beginning to worry that I might not even make third stick. On the very last lap Mario did make a good pass on me and got the second-place. I kept third and was happy to be there on the podium again.

Justin and I hosted the Sunday night drivers' party and it was great to celebrate. Justin was a little stiff after getting a wheel in the helmet from Cristiano, but was in good spirits despite that. I have to give a shout out to Centrix, Finlandia Vodka, Red Bull, and the Martini Ranch in Denver for helping with our party. Oh, and to my PR girl Tara for putting it all together - Justin and I are hopeless with organising!

I'm heading to Montreal this weekend, and hopefully everything will stay back on track (sorry for the pun). I'll be happy to put a couple of those races far behind me. I love Montreal because it's such a fun track to drive and the people love motor racing. I've won there before and last year I was racing Sebastien for the lead before we got together. I'm leaving Paul Tracy to do that this year...well getting together with Sebastien.

Racing for the lead - I'm all for it!

Until next time,

AJ Allmendinger

 

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