Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge … Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-032 in Friday night’s Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway. Built new for 2010, this Dodge Charger debuted at Texas Motor Speedway in April, where Allgaier started 18th and finished 11th. It most recently raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, where the 2009 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year started 11th and finished fourth.
• Welcome Home, Justin … Allgaier, a native of Riverton, Ill., grew up just over 160 miles southwest of Chicagoland Speedway. He began his career racing quarter midgets in his home state at the age of five. Since then, he has claimed two poles, one win, eight top-five and 21 top-10 finishes in 56 Nationwide starts; two poles, eight wins, 31 top fives and 45 top 10s and the 2008 championship in 86 ARCA Series starts; and two top-25 finishes in eight Camping World Truck Series races.
• Just Shy of Halfway … Just one race away from the official midpoint of the 2010 season, Allgaier has accumulated one pole, one win, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 11.9 and an average finish of 10.9. Allgaier has led 127 laps of competition and has completed 99.3 percent of the laps contested (3,080 of 3,101) over the first 17 races.
• Get to the Points … Allgaier is currently ranked third in the championship point standings, 488 markers behind leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, and 211 points behind second-place contender Carl Edwards.
• Best in Class … Allgaier’s third-place position in the point standings is best among full-time, Nationwide Series-only drivers. Allgaier leads fellow Nationwide-only driver Steve Wallace, currently ranked eighth, by 396 points.
• Allgaier at Chicagoland … In his only previous NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Chicagoland Speedway in July of 2009, Allgaier recorded a 10th-place finish.
• Are You Experienced? … In addition to his one previous Nationwide Series start at the 1.5-mile speedway, Allgaier has competed in three ARCA Series races at Chicago, posting his best finish, fourth, in the 2008 event.
• Last Time Out … Allgaier had a strong run going in the first half of last Friday night’s Subway Jalapeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway. Unfortunately, the rear bumper cover of his Dodge Challenger folded up on lap 83, robbing him of rear downforce, and eventually relegating the 24-year-old driver to a 17th-place finish.
• Penske Racing at Chicagoland … In five previous Nationwide Series starts at Chicagoland Speedway, Penske Racing entries have recorded two poles, one top-five and three top-10 finishes, have completed 801 of 1,000 laps contested and have led 281 laps.
• Penske Racing in 2010 … With 17 races completed in the 2010 season, Penske Racing’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series entries have recorded five poles, four wins, a combined 19 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have an average starting position of 10.7, an average finish of 7.4, have completed 6,181 of 6,202 laps contested, and have been atop the leaderboard for 729 laps with drivers Allgaier and Keselowski.
• Meet the Driver … Fans can meet Allgaier on Thursday, July 8 from 6 – 7 p.m. CDT at the Verizon Wireless store located at 12632 South Rte 59 in Plainfield, Ill. The following day, he will sign for fans at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer, located in the midway at Chicagoland Speedway from 12:10 – 12:40 p.m. CDT.
• Did You Know … Penske Racing’s media website has several features available to registered media members including pre- and post-race notes, photographs, audio quotes and more. Log onto media.penskeracing.com for more information.
Justin Allgaier on Chicagoland Speedway
“Chicagoland Speedway is a very interesting race track. It’s a mile-and-a-half track, but it feels like racing on a two-mile oval like Michigan or Auto Club Speedway. The backstretch isn’t straight, it’s got some definition to it. The track was built with the backstretch elevated so the fans on the frontstretch could see the entire track, so you drive uphill into Turn 2, and downhill off of Turn 4.
“Geographically, Gateway is a little closer to home for me, but Chicagoland isn’t very far away. Typically more friends and family come to Gateway, but there’s a fair share that have season tickets to Chicagoland Speedway. Hopefully, we’ll have a decent cheering section in the grandstands on Friday night. I’ll head straight to Springfield (Ill.) after the race on Friday and spend the week there relaxing and catching up. ”
Crew chief Chad Walter on Chicagoland Speedway
“Chicagoland Speedway is not the ‘cookie cutter’ track that it may be stereotyped as, as it has a curved backstretch. The drivers face a challenge with being able to put the power down early at each end of the track, especially off Turn 2. As always, a good qualifying effort will lend itself to good track position. With it being a very aero-dependent track, starting up front is extremely important.”