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Allmendinger, who also had to use tape to shorten his Phoenix firesuit, wasn’t complaining.

“In a situation like this, beggars can’t be choosers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Smith hustled to Hendrick Motorsports to get fitted for his second car in a week. He was in Phoenix firesuit, but wearing a hat bearing the logo of Earnhardt’s sponsor.

“The past four weeks have been about as up and down as any four weeks in my life,” said Smith, who learned in the last month he was being let go by Furniture Row and then he was replaced before the end of the season.

“I just want to do these guys proud and run as good as we can this weekend with this car,” he said. “They’re the same goals this team has every weekend: We want to go out there and try win the pole and try to win the race and try to be the fastest car in every practice. That’s not going to change this weekend.”