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Engine change forces AJ Allmendinger to back of field for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race in Phoenix

Allmendinger PHX 1 2015 getty

An engine change will force AJ Allmendinger to start from the back in Sunday’s 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

The decision to swap engines on the No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Chevrolet SS came between Saturday’s first and second Sprint Cup practice sessions. Allmendinger was 25th fastest in the first session.

“We didn’t qualify as well as we wanted to anyway, so we decided to take the opportunity to change it (the engine) now and eliminate any doubts,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “We have a good race car, and ECR Engines have been awesome all year. We are just taking some precautionary measures to make sure we are good to go to the end.”

Allmendinger qualified 22nd.

“They saw something they didn’t like,” Allmendinger said of the original engine. “What has been awesome about this whole ECR package is this is the first time I’ve had something like this happen in over a year.”

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