Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge … Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-032 in Saturday afternoon’s O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. Built new for 2010, this Dodge Charger debuted at Texas Motor Speedway in April, where Allgaier started 18th and finished 11th. The 2009 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year then raced it at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he started 11th and finished fourth, and at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September, where the Riverton, Ill.-native started 20th and finished 13th. Most recently, Allgaier raced this chassis to a seventh-place finish at Kansas Speedway in October.
• Allgaier at Texas … In four previous NNS starts at TMS, Allgaier has recorded one top-10 finish. His best finish, 10th, came in the spring race of last year. Additionally, the 24-year-old driver has an average starting position of 14.8, an average finish of 16.8 and has completed 92.8 percent of the laps contested (742 of 800).
• Through 32 Races … With 32 races of the 2010 season in the record books, Allgaier has accumulated two poles, one win, eight top-five and 19 top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 11.7 and an average finish of 11.6. Allgaier has led 221 laps of competition and has completed 97.5 percent of the laps contested (5,736 of 5,884) so far this season.
• Streaking … Allgaier heads to TMS tied for the longest consecutive top-10 streak of his brief career - five races. Additionally, the third-year driver has recorded consecutive third-place finishes in the last two NNS races, at CMS and Gateway International Raceway.
• Get to the Points … Allgaier ranks fourth in the NNS championship point standings heading into this weekend’s event at TMS. He trails current point leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 866 points, and third-place contender Kyle Busch by 161 points.
• Best in Class … Allgaier’s fourth-place position in the point standings is best among full-time, Nationwide Series-only drivers. Allgaier leads fellow Nationwide-only driver Trevor Bayne, currently ranked eighth, by 645 points.
• Dash 4 Cash Leader … Allgaier currently leads the point standings for the 2010 “Dash 4 Cash” bonus program by 32 markers over second-place contender Bayne. Heading into the fourth and final Dash race of 2010 at TMS this weekend, Allgaier is in position to claim the $75,000 bonus for NNS regulars. Should a non-eligible driver win the race, Allgaier could collect a $150,000 check from the series sponsor.
• Penske Racing at Texas … In 11 previous Nationwide Series starts at Texas, Penske Racing entries have recorded one pole (Ryan Newman, 11/05), one win (Kurt Busch, 04/06), two top-five and four top-10 finishes, and have been atop the leaderboard for 192 laps.
• Penske Racing in 2010 … With 32 races completed in the 2010 season, Penske Racing’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series entries have recorded seven poles, seven wins, a combined 31 top-five and 45 top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have completed 11,619 of 11,768 laps contested, and have been atop the leaderboard for 1,367 laps with drivers Allgaier and Keselowski.
• Are You Experienced? … In addition to his four previous NNS starts at the 1. 5-mile venue, Allgaier has competed in one Camping World Truck Series race at TMS, posting a 27th-place finish in November of 2005.
• Cast Your Vote … Some 30,000 fans have cast their votes since July 6, and Allgaier is currently ranked among the top-five in the NNS Most Popular Driver award voting (through Wednesday, Sept. 15). Fans can visit www.nascarnationwideseries.com to vote for their favorite NASCAR Nationwide Series driver. Voting continues through Saturday, November 13.
• Meet the Driver … Fans can meet Allgaier on Thursday, November 4 from 6 – 7 p.m. CDT at the Verizon Wireless store located at 12550 South Freeway in Burleson, Texas.
Justin Allgaier on Texas Motor Speedway
“Texas is a fun place. It’s a fast mile-and-a-half track that has a lot of bumps in Turns 1 and 2. It’s got very different banking characteristics than Charlotte or Atlanta. It’s a place where you race hard every lap. We’ve had some decent races there, but the fall race has always seemed to be a weak point for us. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or if it’s that we’re pushing that much harder because we know we didn’t run as well as we would have liked in the spring. I think many of the problems we’ve had have been out of our control, other than when I spun out by myself last fall. It seems like we’ve gotten all of our mistakes out of the way, and we should be all set to have a good showing this weekend at Texas.”
Crew chief Chad Walter on Texas Motor Speedway
“Texas Motor Speedway has been a track that we’ve never quite gotten a handle on. Handling and track position are the keys to success. Track position is crucial. The cars carry a lot of speed, and there’s usually two, if not three lanes by the time the race begins. Driver comfort is always the first priority, then trim in speed. It’s a great area, it’s a fan-friendly venue, and I think we’ll put on a good show for everyone this weekend.”