AJ Allmendinger was golfing when road-course test broke out at Charlotte

AJ Allmendinger was golfing when road-course test broke out at Charlotte

Published Jan. 24, 2017 2:52 p.m. ET

AJ Allmendinger, who recently performed a single-car test on the road course in the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield, is all for more road-course racing in NASCAR.

And why wouldn’t he be? He’s long been considered one of the best at it in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

But he’s also realistic.

And he dealt with the question of a possible future road-course race at Charlotte with humor on Tuesday at the NASCAR preseason media tour, making it sound like he just happened to be in the area working on his questionable golf game when the test broke out.

“I had heard a rumor there was a stock car test going on around Charlotte,” Allmendinger said. “I was golfing that day. Shot an 86. I four-putted the first green. It was terrible.

“I’ll just say that we were out there (at the Charlotte road course) collecting data. I had a lot of fun. It would be something I would enjoy. It was better than my golf game, let’s put it that way. I had 43 putts that round. Do you know how bad that is? It’s horrible! But I didn’t throw the putter, so I’m growing in maturity as a person.”

Bottom line, if you read between the lines, is that Allmendinger’s golf game still needs some work and so would the Charlotte road course, which is located inside the 1.5-mile oval at the track, if there ever is to be an actual NASCAR touring series race held on it. For starters, in its present state, it likely is too narrow to allow the kind of passing opportunities required by larger stock cars or trucks.

That doesn’t mean Allmendinger, whose only career win in NASCAR’s Cup Series came at Watkins Glen in 2014 in the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet he still drives, isn’t in favor of giving it a try one day.

“I like to golf, and I’m going to play some more rounds up there (near the track) just in case they want to collect more data,” Allmendinger said. “Here’s the deal. ... I don’t know what’s going to happen. I thought it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.

“You can bring something new to the schedule and something new (to the sport) if it was done. I’m all for it. I’m probably biased toward that. It’s kind of like the new (points and playoff) format. Change can be good and it can be a little scary. We have to see how it plays out. But could it be successful? I think it would be a fantastic race and something the fans could truly enjoy.”


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