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AJ Allmendinger details Las Vegas crash

Kim Coon, Nate Ryan and Kyle Petty preview the final stop on NASCAR's West Coast Tour at Phoenix Raceway, including which drivers are facing pressure to perform following two poor starts to the season.

AVONDALE, Ariz. — AJ Allmendinger said he had the wind knocked out of him and bruised his left foot in his crash last weekend on the last lap at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Allmendinger spun while in the pack and was hit in the door area by Ryan Preece on the backstretch.

“It knocked the wind out of me and it was tough definitely to breath for a little bit,” Allmendinger said Saturday at Phoenix Raceway. “My (left) foot is still black and blue. My left foot bounced around between both pedals. It’s tender. It’s not horrible. I had to limp all night (after the race), and the next day was a little bit of a challenge. Other than that, I feel fine. The foot is still black and blue, but I don’t really feel it.

“For as big as the hit was, I think it could have been worse. It wasn’t horrible.”

Even in such an incident, Allmendinger was thinking about finishing the race. He drove away to place 18th.

“It took me a second to kind of get the wind back,” Allmendinger said. “Then I was sitting there and kind of thought to myself, ‘I don’t know who is in this wreck, so if this thing will start back up and get to the (finish) line, that might be a position or two.’ … You just want to finish the race if you can.”

Allmendinger said that NASCAR did the right thing in not calling a caution for his contact. NASCAR didn’t because Allmendinger drove away from the scene.

As for what caused his crash, Allmendinger said he had a good restart after having four tires changed before the overtime restart.

“I kind of shot the gap and came to the white (flag lap in 13th place) … there were four cars in front of me four-wide and I was following Denny (Hamlin). I got into Turn 1, I just tried to get a big run off the corner to push him down the back straightaway, hoping that I could, at best, push him out from the group and then I would have clean track into (Turn) 3.

“We were free at that time and the dirty air just snapped me really loose off of (Turn) 2 really quick and didn’t save it.”