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Allmendinger Not Planning the Start

AJ Allmendinger played his cards close to his chest as to what his strategy will be, heading into the first corner of Sunday's Grand Prix of Edmonton, which he will start from his maiden Champ Car pole position

Turn One at Finning International Speedway looks set to trigger some of the same drama (not to say carnage) that traditionally accompanies the start at Cleveland, with a wide straight funnelling into a comparatively narrow right-hander - although the Edmonton variation on the theme is considerably quicker, taken at something like 85mph rather than the 55mph or so of Burke Lakefront Airport's infamous hairpin.

Even so, the wide-open approach looks set to invite some banzai first-lap lunges by those anxious to make up a host of 'free' places before the order settles down. Allmendinger, though, claimed he was unconcerned with elaborate permutations of what might or might not happen on the first lap.

"When I was racing in [Toyota] Atlantics with my teammate [Aaron Justus] I found out that the more you plan out the start, the worse it goes," he said. "I will just try to set a good pace and hopefully everything will work out."

When pressed about his game plan for the start, Allmendinger engaged in some jocular banter with RuSPORT teammate Justin Wilson and former karting mentor Paul Tracy.

"I'm going to give him some coaching tonight," jested Tracy.

"I'll just ask Sebastien [Bourdais, with whom Tracy has collided twice this season] what he thinks," retorted Allmendinger. "Simmer down there, buddy. My strategy will be to take the green [flag] and not get passed into Turn One. Anything else I should know about?"

"Paul's going to fall into line nicely and leave me alone," prophesied Allmendinger optimistically, before adding, "Is there any strategy that can keep Paul behind you? I learned that on the restart at Cleveland, honestly..."

When Wilson mischievously suggested that he was prepared to "try a few overtaking manoeuvres" in Sunday's race, Allmendinger was quick with the rejoinder: "On lapped cars, you mean? Yeah, Justin and I agreed that if we do run into each other, we won't be mad at each other, we'll just run like hell to get away from [team owner] Carl [Russo]..."

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