HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2008) – Justin Allgaier, piloting the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dodge Charger, posted a 28th-place finish in Saturday’s Ford 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final NNS race of the 2008 season. It also marked Allgaier’s fourth start for Penske Racing in the NNS.
Allgaier had qualified the No. 12 machine in the 26th spot for Saturday afternoon’s 200-lap, 300-mile race at the 1.5-mile track just north of the Florida Keys. Allgaier reported tight-handling conditions during his qualifying run but looked to “free the car up” for the race.
From the start of the NNS season finale, Allgaier radioed to crew cheif Matt Gimbel and the Penske Truck Rental team that the No. 12 machine was “tight on the throttle.” Just after reporting in, Allgaier became “aero tight” behind another competitor causing him to slide up the track and scrape the right side of the Penske Truck Rental Dodge against the wall. The damage was minimal, and Allgaier continued until his scheduled pit stop for four tires, fuel, wedge and track bar adjustments.
After the stop, Allgaier restarted in 30th position, but the adjustments had the effect of making the race car loose-handling. When the caution flag waved on lap 64, Allgaier came down pit road to have two rounds of wedge taken out of the car. 14 laps later, the car was still “free,” and Gimbel brought the young driver down pit road for one round out of the trackbar, four tires and fuel, sending him back out in 25th position.
On lap 102, Allgaier had a “near-miss” when another competitor got into the outside wall and came back across the track, just missing the No.12 Penske Truck Rental Dodge. At that point, the No. 12 was still “loose” and Allgaier came back down pit road under the caution to remove a right-rear wheel rubber and a half of round of wedge in the car.
Allgaier continued to race and was working to get a lost lap back, but he scraped the outside wall. He continued, but on lap 191, a tire went down and the No. 12 went hard into the outside wall. The Penske Truck Rental team tried to repair the damage, but it was too severe, and the No. 12 machine was relegated to a 28th-place finish.
“We battled the handling all night,” Allgaier said after the event. “It wasn’t the way we wanted to end the season. I just hate it for those guys on this Penske Truck Rental Dodge; they worked to get the changes made and get me back out on the track. We just fell eight laps short of a finish. We’ll go back to the shop and look forward to returning for a successful 2009 season.”
Allgaier is slated to drive the No. 12 Penske Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series car for a limited schedule in 2009.