AJ Allmendinger may have finally turned the corner.
Allmendinger is the prized jewel of the newly reorganized Richard Petty Motorsports. With an 11th place finish at Daytona, he finds himself with Chase expectations for the first time in his career.
Allmendinger’s career wasn’t always full of optimism. He was with Red Bull Racing as it tried to get off the ground in 2006. Often, getting the chance to start was a victory. With questions about being able to start on Sunday,
Allmendinger ran truck races to gain experience,
Allmendinger eventually left Red Bull Racing to Gillett Evernham Motorsports, where he was supposed to replace Elliott Sadler. Problem is Sadler threatened to sue; the threat was good enough to bump Allmendinger to a part-time ride based reliant upon finding new sponsorships. Not easy in the 2009 economy, especially after a DUI arrest in October.
As Gillett transitioned out of the sport in 2010; Allmendinger was a key factor in the recreation of Richard Petty Motorsports. Even though the two have had heated exchanges, Allmendinger has repeatedly drawn praise from Petty, where he drives the famed #43. Allmendinger ended 2010 19th in points, with eight finishes of tenth or better.
It’s been a long path to stability, one that might finally lead to Victory Lane for Allmendinger and his famous boss.