His first action in his new car will be in the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night at Daytona. As for a contract, details are a little fuzzy.
"I think that’s actually been signed in between all the stuff, so I actually do have a contract for the first eight races, through Phoenix and there’s an option for 2010," said Allmendinger, who calls Los Gatos his hometown. "Ultimately, the objective is to run up front and stay up front all eight races. Hopefully, we can find more backing and run the whole season. The goal is to run up front and find a sponsorship for the rest of the season.”
Allmendinger is entering his third season in the Sprint Cup Series and has 44 career Cup starts, but this will be his first Shootout.
“Obviously, as a racer, you want to win. That’s important," Allmendinger said. "Ultimately, I need practice on superspeedway racing. I haven’t done a lot of it. That’s the way I’m taking the Shootout. If I have a chance to win, we’ll try to win the thing. If not, I want to run all the laps and get as much practice as I can in the Valvoline Dodge.”
Allmendinger started the 2008 season driving for Red Bull Racing, but was let go after the Kansas Speedway race. He finished the Cup season with Gillett Evernham Motorsports and had three top-15 finishes in the last five races. He was named driver of the No. 44 Dodge for RPM after Richard Petty Enterprises merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports to create Richard Petty Motorsports in January. It ended a tumultous offseason for Allmendinger.
“You can sit there and feel bad for yourself about how bad things are happening to you, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that bad," Allmendinger said. "There are a lot of people right now in this world that are a lot worse than myself worrying about running only eight races in Cup. I’m still at Daytona. We’re still talking about racing cars. I’m still getting in the racecar. There are two options. You keep fighting and find a ride or sponsorship or you quit. I’m not going to quit. So, you have to keep digging.”