LOUDON, N.H. (June 28, 2009) – Rookie sensation Justin Allgaier once again demonstrated why he is a consistent force in the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Riverton, Ill. native showed patience at the one-mile oval, getting everything he could out of the Verizon Wireless Dodge to cross the finish line in the 13th position.
Allgaier started the 200-lap event in the 13th spot, but he immediately started to move backward through the field while fighting a loose-handling race car. He radioed to his team on just the second lap to explain that his car was really loose on the exit of the turns and he was doing all he could to keep it from spinning out. Crew chief Chad Walter explained to his rookie driver that the car would start to come to him and to keep doing the best he could.
After 10 laps, Allgaier’s car came to life and he started to regain track position. He again radioed to his crew to inform them the car was starting to tighten up and Allgaier was making a charge towards the front. By lap 30, Allgaier had made it into the top-15 and was running times as quick as the machines in the top-five.
When the caution flag was displayed to the field on lap 50, the team prepared to go to work on the Verizon Wireless Dodge. Allgaier rolled down pit lane two laps later for service. The team bolted on four fresh Goodyear tires and filled the car with fuel. They also made a small air pressure adjustment hoping to help Allgaier early in the run.
The green flag flew to restart the race on lap 58 and the No.12 Verizon Wireless Dodge was running in the 16th spot. Allgaier again alerted his team that the car was handling extremely loose early in the run and he was taking his time maneuvering through traffic.
By the halfway point of the race, Allgaier had his Penske Racing machine in the 14th position. He called his crew to explain that the car was getting tighter and he felt like he was sliding the nose through the center of the corners. Walter contemplated the changes he was going to make to the No. 12 machine on the next round of pit stops.
When the caution flag was displayed to the field for the second time on lap 104, Allgaier again prepared for a visit to pit road. He brought the machine to the attention of his Verizon Wireless crew on lap 107. After changing four tires and filling the car with racing fuel, the Verizon Wireless team sent Allgaier back on to the track. The team did a phenomenal job producing a 14-second stop, while picking up two spots on the pit lane.
After returning to green flag racing on lap 110, Allgaier found himself in the 12th spot. He fought with NASCAR Cup Series regular Clint Bowyer in an epic side-by-side battle for more than 10 laps. The two swapped lines and raced door-to-door, until Allgaier showed his strength and pulled away.
Allgaier coaxed all he could out of his machine for the remaining laps, crossing the finish line in the 13th position. The top-15 result moved Allgaier into seventh place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings, up one spot from last week. He also continues to fight for series Rookie-of-the-Year honors sitting one point behind leader Brendan Gaughan.
“It was a solid effort,” commented Allgaier after the 200-lap event. “We struggled to find speed early in a run, but after about 10 laps our Verizon Wireless Dodge would really come to life. We could run top-five times consistently. We learned a lot today. I searched around all race to find the best line. We did not have a great day, but to get out of here in one piece and have a top-15 finish is a small victory. We are looking forward to getting back to Daytona [International Speedway].”
Allgaier and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless team will return to the World Center of Speed for the running of the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway next weekend. The race can be seen live Friday, July 3 live on ESPN with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. The event can also be heard live on MRN radio as well as Sirius Satellite Radio channel 128.
Justin Allgaier Camping World RV Sales 200 Statistics
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