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A.J. Allmendinger

American racecar driver Anthony James "A.J." Allmendinger was born on Dec. 16, 1981, in Los Gatos, Calif. He started his career in karts, winning two International Karting Federation Grand National championships. Allmendinger won the Barber Dodge Pro Series championship in 2002 and the Champ Cart Atlantic Championship in 2003. In 2004, he won the Champ Car World Series Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year award. In 2006, he went on a three-race winning streak in the Grand Prix of Portland, Grand Prix of Cleveland and Grand Prix of Toronto. After five wins of the season, Allmendinger joined NASCAR. Over the next year, he suffered through some crashes and failed to qualify for some races. In 2008, he won the Sprint Showdown, automatically qualifying him for the Sprint All-Star Race, where he placed 17th. In 2009, he debuted in third at the Daytona 500, his personal best. He finished 11th in the 2011 Daytona 500.