Issue Spoils Allmendinger's Run

NASCAR

A fuel system problem relegated AJ Allmendinger to a 37th-place finish in the Toyota/Save Mart 350. (Photo: Getty Images)

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A potential fuel system problem thwarted AJ Allmendinger's chance to win consecutive Sprint Cup road course races.

Allmendinger started from the pole in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 and was running in the top five until he was forced to pit on lap 61. The team raised the hood and then went back to the garage to diagnose the issue.

“Still investigating it looks like something with the fuel system may have gotten clogged up or gotten some debris or something in there," said crew chief Brian Burns. "Not sure yet. We will take a good look at it when we get back to the shop and regroup."

Allmendinger led one lap and trailed eventual second-place finisher Kurt Busch for a good portion of the first half of the race. He posted 13 of the fastest laps in the race, second only to Kurt Busch (20). The car Allmendinger was driving was the same one he won at Watkins Glen International and led 35 laps with in this event last season.

"The car was good," Allmendinger said. "I thought we had a better chance of winning this year than we did last year. It was still going to be tough. The No. 41 (Kurt Busch) was pretty solid. The No. 18 (Kyle Busch) the way it played out was pretty good. I know the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) was good. We just fought the rear a little bit. I don’t know how that would have played out at the end. I know we had the fastest lap of the race, which shows the car had speed. I think we were going in the right direction it just feels like a swift kick to everything right now. But it’s nothing we really did wrong it is one of those circumstances."

The JTG Daugherty Racing team was able to get Allmendinger back on track on lap 74 where they turned the race into a test session.

"Learned a lot, picked up a lot of speed," Burns said. "We ran the fastest lap of the race compared to anybody else towards the end just trying some things. Trying to turn something positive into it.”

Allmendinger finished 37th and fell one spot in the standings to 23rd.

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