Allmendinger ends a nine-year drought

HUNTERSVILLE – A.J. Allmendinger, where’ve you been hiding?

Allmendinger, who’d started 212 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races without a victory, snapped the nine-year drought with a victory Aug. 10 at Watkins Glen, N.Y. The Huntersville resident, 32, who drives the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing, automatically qualified for the Chase with the victory.

“This is what I live for; this is all I talk about,” Allmendinger said. “I don’t want to hear that A.J. might be the next first-time winner. I’m tired of hearing that.”

He won’t hear it any longer, but the victory was a shocker. Allmendinger came into the race with no finishes better than 18th place in the previous 12 starts. His average finish this season is 20th place, but the victory vaulted Allmendinger to 24th place in the Sprint Cup points standings. He had a door-to-door battle with Marcos Ambrose most of the final three laps of the road course.

 

Blaney is truck series leader

HUNTERSVILLE - Ryan Blaney, after a week off, returns this weekend to defend his lead in the NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series points standings. The series will race at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at Michigan International Speedway.

Blaney, who lives in Huntersville and drives the No. 29 Fored for Brad Keselowski Racing, has a seven-point lead over Johnny Sauter.

 

So-so weekend for Busch

HUNTERSVILLE – Kyle Busch’s weekend at Watkins Glen produced a second-place finish in the Nationwide Series race (to Ambrose) on Aug. 9, his third straight runner-up finish. It was a different story a day later when Busch finished 40th (among 43 racers) in the Sprint Cup race.

It was his second straight Sprint Cup start of 40th or worse.

 

Late surge helps Logano

HUNTERSVILLE – Joey Logano, flashing patience and skill, moved up several positions during late-race accidents during the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen. He finished in sixth place, his third consecutive top-10 finish and his 12th overall this season.

With the finish, Logano moved up two positions in the Sprint Cup Series point standings to fifth.

 

 

RACER RANKINGS

We rank Herald Weekly-area drivers in the racing world:

1. A.J. Allmendinger – Notched his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup race in career start No. 213. Nine years of perseverance paid off.

2. Joey Logano – Finished sixth in the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen last week, his third straight top-10 finish.

3. Kyle Larson – His past four Sprint Cup starts have netted finishes of third, seventh, 11th and fourth last week at Watkins Glen. Not driving like a rookie.

4. Matt Kenseth – Solid weekend at Watkins Glen. Finished eighth in Sprint Cup race and fifth in the Nationwide event.

5. Ryan Blaney – Huntersville resident leads the Camping World Truck Series points race lead.