Fresh off a year in which he captured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory and made the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the first time, AJ. Allmendinger reveals the person from history he most admires and more in an exclusive interview with NASCAR Pole Position.
What runs through your mind when someone wrecks you?
Just pure anger. You kind of get that red mist in your eyes and you want to go retaliate right away.
Would you rather be liked by your peers or be successful?
I’d rather be successful, but as an alternative to that I’d rather be respected. I’ve always said you don’t have to necessarily be liked by your opponents, although in NASCAR it helps a little bit because they can dictate where you finish, and that was something right away as a rookie I learned. You’ve got to play the game a little bit. I’d rather be successful, but I’d rather have people respect me. That’s the biggest deal. They don’t have to like you but I feel like if they respect you, you’re doing it the right way.
What person from world history do you admire most and why?
A guy like Ayrton Senna I just admire because even growing up I was an open-wheel guy, and when I was young I was able to watch him and how good he was on TV. And then when the movie “Senna” came out, just to kind of see inside his life and what he meant to a whole country, what he gave people hope-wise and gave in return for his success, that’s the stuff I admire.
If you could change one thing about the U.S., what would it be?
We tend to fight so much now. There are just so many bad things that happen. It’s easier said than done, but I feel like we see so much more bad than good. Honestly, I tend to not even watch the news hardly at all just because everything you turn on is somebody fighting. We’re fighting with another country; somebody’s doing bad to somebody else. So for me, it would be for us to find a way to get along with the rest of everybody.
▪ Oh, “Dumb and Dumber,” for sure. I have not seen the second one. I need to go do that. I’ve been too busy, but that’s the ultimate.
▪ I listen to all different genres of music, sol don’t have a favorite. But honestly, at the [NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards] banquet last year, to listen to Aloe Blacc live -just pure singing on a stage – it was pretty amazing. I wouldn’t say he’s my favorite singer, because not all of his music really excites me, but to listen to him in person and see how talented he is, that was pretty amazing.
▪ I would have to say Thanksgiving. I enjoy just getting around with family and friends and whoever is together that year and just watching football, relaxing and having a good time.
FASTEST YOU’VE DRIVEN A STREET CAR:
▪ There was one point in time on the open road I got up to like 130 or 140 (mph).