Allmendinger Ready To Give All

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AJ Allmendinger is still seeking his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory and the Richard Petty Motorsports driver believes he has a good chance to break into the win column in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Allmendinger hopes to build on last week's Sprint All-Star Race night at CMS which despite not having the finish to show for it included some positives for the No. 43 team.

"We had a really fast car last weekend in the Sprint Showdown," he said. "The No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion ended up with some damage after slight contact in one of the incidents, which I think affected how well the car had been running. But that race gave us a sense of what's ahead this weekend. "

Sunday's race is the longest of the season and Allmendinger knows what a challenge the 600 miles will be on the entire team.

"Six hundred miles is a long way to go but I'm confident in the car we'll have and this Richard Petty Motorsports team," Allmendinger said. "They've been working hard and I'm proud of them. This is another race that goes from day to night. We'll have to be patient and just keep our focus until those last 100 laps or so. I'm looking forward to going out there and giving Best Buy and our fans a good run."

In last year's race David Reutimann scored his first career Cup win a feat that Allmendinger hopes to replicate on Sunday.

"If you're in that position, you definitely try to take it and do that, but I think, for us, we just need to keep being better as a race team," Allmendinger said. "We're getting faster, but it's just little mistakes that keep hurting us. I really do believe our equipment is getting there. We're gonna have a brand new car and everybody at Ford and Best Buy and Richard Petty Motorsports is working hard.

"I think we're jelling together, so if that position happens, we'll be there. It's such a long race and you just have to pace yourself, but if I could come out with a solid top-10 finish, and we just keep building as a race team, I'll be happy."

The grueling race, which can last nearly five hours, is something Allmendinger looks forward to and he believes his preparation will pay dividends.

"For me, the track is not as physically demanding so as the race gets further along, the track gets cooler and the air temp gets cooler," Allmendinger said. "It's not like being struck by the heat all day. I look at a race like when it's hot at Pocono. That seems a lot longer than any race here at the 600, so you just work hard all week.

"I work hard training. You just hydrate, a lot of Active Water going in the body and staying hydrated, and you just keep pacing yourself all week. You know that this is one of those weeks that you just try to go easy when you can and stay off your feet, and then the race is no problem."

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