What a difference a year makes. Coming off a wild, chaotic, and tumultuous finish to the 2010 season, AJ Allmendinger is showing continued improvements in his third full Nascar Sprint Cup season. Sitting fifteenth in the points, AJ could not have asked for a better start to the season, well, besides a win. However, flying under the radar, AJ’s numbers are already a big jump from 2010. For being a notoriously slow starter, one could say AJ has rocketed out of the gates. Here’s why:
· 1- Only one finish outside the top 20, as opposed to 3 last year.
· 2- Top ten starts, accounting for an average 15.3 overall, 20.6 in 2010.
· 4- The number that should be in the top 10 category. 11th at Daytona, 9th at Phoenix, 11th at Talladega, and 14th at Martinsville where a late caution robbed the 43 of a possible top 5.
· 9- Number of spots higher in the points at the same point in time in 2010, 24th to 15th.
· 16- Average finish in 2011, last year 20.6 after 8 races.
· 17- Number of points currently out of the final transfer spot, easily obtainable in one event.
· 19- The difference in average finish at Super Speedways. 30th in 2010.
11th in 2011,
· 44- The equivalent number of points ahead after 8 races. 2010 (equivalent) 182, 2011, 226. Practically a race ahead of schedule.
· 99.6- The percentage of laps completed. 2010 was a dismal 87.3 after 8 races, an overall increase by 12.3% which is huge.
· 100- The percentage of faith AJ and 43 fans should have that AJ will bring one home.
· 110- The percentage AJ and Team continue to give every race.
· 636,543- The increase in number of times AJ has been positively mentioned prerace, during race, post-race, and in the media. (Educated guess of course)
· Infinite- The number of votes left for YOU to cast to get AJ into the All-Star race!
In all seriousness, the increases in performance are showing up in every category most notably the Super Speedway department. AJ tweeted last year, “We just need to fix those Super Speedway numbers” and seems to be a man of his word. Now that the wild card races are completed in the beginning stage of the 2011 Nascar Sprint Cup season, the intermediate grind begins and 10 of the next 13 races fall into that category. Look for AJ to make big gains over the duration of this stretch, where he averaged a 15.9 finish at intermediate tracks in 2010. Consistent finishes should dominate the stat sheet and help catapult AJ into a solid top 12 spot in the standings. The overall improvement of the 43 team is evident, and for this deserves much praise and congratulations, and don’t forget, “A go DINGERRRRRRR.”