CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Story and audio by Race Chaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker — Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images North America photo —
A.J. Allmendinger was a bit taken aback when JTG-Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty started their session (combined with HScott Motorsports) by remarking that 2014 “could have been better” and that there were “opportunities lost”.
“I was having fun until you said that, Brad,” the personable driver said with a laugh. Then he agreed with those comments and explained why he believed the team should be even more competitive this season.
“Our partnership with RCR came so late in the going prior to last season that we felt like we spent a lot of time just figuring it out and catching up. We’d get there and they’d move the bar a little higher,” Allmendinger explained. “But we’re so far ahead as a team of where we were last year at this time.”
“Our goal is definitely to show up and be competitive at every race this year.”
Listen in as our Tom Baker caught up with A.J. during the 2015 NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C., below.
A.J. and his team shared the stage with HScott Motorsports team owner Harry Scott Jr., his returning driver Justin Allgaier and the newest addition to the team, Michael Annett. Scott made the official announcement that Annett and his sponsors would be moving over from Tommy Baldwin Racing to make the HScott Sprint Cup operation a two-car team for 2015.
Both Allgaier and Annett were happy to be working together, and Scott said that Steve Addington would again serve in a dual role as Competition Director and crew chief for Allgaier. The team is still searching for the right person to fill the role of crew chief for Annett’s car in 2015.
Annett drew a laugh when he talked about how he and Allgaier had come up through the ranks together and always had a friendly relationship.
He noted that at the beginning of the 2014 season, he and Allgaier were both Sprint Cup rookies and would park next to each other.
“Then, as the season went on, I had to walk further and further up the garage area to ask him a question,” as Justin climbed higher and higher in the standings.
If the positivity on the stage was any indication, you can expect both of these organizations to make some significant progress in 2015.