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Allmendinger still trying to make first Cup race

A.J. Allmendinger is a Nextel Cup driver without a Nextel Cup start. The winner of five Champ Car races in 2006, Allmendinger is trying to remain calm, writes Angelique S. Chengelis.

Updated: February 28, 2007, 8:23 PM ET
By Angelique Chengelis | ESPN.com

FONTANA, Calif. -- A.J. Allmendinger hung out in the California Speedway garage Sunday unintentionally incognito wearing jeans, sneakers, a hooded sweatshirt and sipping from a can of Red Bull energy drink.

This was not exactly how he had planned to spend his weekend. He wanted to be noticed, believe him, but life is challenging in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series, maybe even more than he thought.

"It's easy," Allmendinger said, facetiously. "I love sitting here watching cars ...

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