SONOMA — A.J. Allmendinger probably isn't happy with his finish at Sunday's NASCAR Toyota-Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway because it should have been better than it says in the final results.
The JTG Daugherty Racing driver had been running inside the top 10 for the majority of the race and led the most laps — 37 — until a late-race accident on the exit of turn 11 pretty much ended his shot at victory.
Allmendinger and Dale Earnhardt Jr. made contact on the exit of the turn, which culminated in Allmendinger spinning on the front stretch and ruining his day. Earnhardt finished in third, while Allmendinger limped to a 37th-place finish.
"I tangled up with the 47 (Allmendinger) somehow. He wheel-hopped my left-front tire and that spun him out," Earnhardt Jr. said.
Allmendinger exited his trailer and left the track without speaking to reporters. He had finished no better than 21st place in the five races before Sunday's.
"We led a lot of laps today and we were good enough to win the thing no doubt," Allmendinger said in a press release. "It's just disappointing the way our day ended and to leave Sonoma with a car that's tore up."
The third-place finish was Earnhardt's first top 10 at Sonoma Raceway in his career. Allmendinger's best career finish at the road course is seventh place.
<b>Menard's best day</b>
Paul Menard leaves Northern California with his best finish at Sonoma, a fifth place that eclipsed his previous best of 14th at the road course.