Five Tracks Where Allmendinger Can Win In 2017

A.J. Allmendinger is riding an upward trajectory into the new season, hoping to dominate the road courses where he performs best and possibly grab a win at another track along the way. His third place finish in the Daytona 500 is proof of his relevance in 2017.

It’s been three seasons since Allmendinger scored his first career win at Watkins Glen, but the future remains bright for the 35-year-old road course ringer. Last year, he landed 26 lead lap finishes, tying 2010 for the most in his career. Also in 2016, his average finish of 17.8 was his best in five years.

Here are a few tracks on Allmendinger’s radar:

Watkins Glen International

It never hurts Allmendinger’s chances that Marcos Ambrose is no longer around to add another underdog to road course competition. We’ve seen him win here, and more importantly, we’ve seen him fend off aggressive attempts at his lead in the final laps. Allmendinger has started in the Top 10 in the last six races at the Glen and has finished in the Top 10 in five of the last six. Barring any mechanical problems or wrecks, look to the top of the leaderboard to find the No. 47.

Sonoma Raceway

The first road course race of the season might be the best bet for an Allmendinger win. While his lone career win came at Watkins Glen, there is definitely added pressure in August going into a Watkins Glen race in need of a Chase berth.

Sonoma has produced more “regular” driver winners than those of the “road course ringer” variety, but that’s not to say the ringers are out of the question. Unfortunately for Allmendinger, luck hasn’t always been on his side in wine country. Qualifying no worse than second in the last three races, on-track issues have tripped him into no better than 14th place at the checkers.

Martinsville Speedway

Outside of road courses, one track has proven to be Allmendinger’s best over the last few years, and that’s Martinsville. While finishes are strong, they still don’t necessarily reflect his ability to produce a top car capable of leading laps. He led laps last year at the half-mile paper clip and finished in the Top 10 in both races.

His worst start in the last seven Martinsville races is 15th, and in six of those seven races, he finished no worse than 11th. Worth noting is that the 43rd-place blemish on his otherwise stellar last seven finishes was caused by an oil leak.

Talladega Superspeedway

JTG Daugherty Racing has seen recent improvements in resources and personnel, and even expanded to two teams for 2017, with second-year driver Chris Buescher coming onboard.

Buescher, who won at Pocono in his rookie year, will offer Allmendinger a guaranteed drafting partner and someone with experience running up front, even if that win came under red flag conditions.

Restrictor plate races are known for their field-leveling effect, which has materialized in underdog wins (See: David Ragan 2013). Allmendinger has run solo for his last several Talladega visits, but if he and Buescher can avoid the Big One(s), they can mount an assault on the frontrunners in the closing laps.

Kansas Speedway

Allmendinger scored consecutive eighth place finishes in last year’s Kansas races despite the track’s reputation to fill the Top 10 with top-tier outfits. His performance at Kansas prior to 2016 included a 27th in the fall of 2015, but that was preceded by 11th and 14th place finishes, respectively.

The likelihood of outrunning the fastest teams for a win on a 1.5-miler is a longshot, but an improved JTG Daugherty team can take on the task. Coordinating car setups will help to capitalize on tinkering time spent during practice sessions, which could improve Allmendinger’s 24.5 average start in his seven runs with JTG Daugherty in Kansas.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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