Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge … Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-027 in Saturday night’s Kroger 200 at O’Reilly Raceway Park (ORP). This is the same Dodge Charger that the No. 12 team raced at Phoenix International Raceway in April, where the 2009 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year started seventh and finished 13th. It most recently raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June, where Allgaier started fifth and finished sixth.
• Through 19 Races … With 19 races of the 2010 season in the record books, Allgaier has accumulated one pole, one win, five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 12.1 and an average finish of 11.6. Allgaier has led 131 laps of competition and has completed 99.2 percent of the laps contested (3,477 of 3,504) over the first 19 races.
• Last Time Out … Allgaier overcame handling woes and brake issues in the closing laps of last Saturday night’s Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway to put himself in contention for a top-10 finish. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for the hometown driver, as a late-race incident eliminated him from competition prematurely.
• Get to the Points … Despite last week’s less-than-desired finish, Allgaier advanced one position, to third, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship point standings, 497 markers behind leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, and 329 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 seventh, by 341 points.
• Allgaier at ORP … In his only previous NASCAR Nationwide Series start at O’Reilly Raceway Park in July of 2009, Allgaier recorded a 21st-place finish.
• Penske Racing in 2010 … With 19 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 26 top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have completed 6,980 of 7,008 laps contested, and have been atop the leaderboard for 896 laps with drivers Allgaier and Keselowski.
• Homecoming … Two members of the Verizon team hail from the state of Indiana. Transporter driver Joe Allen was born and raised in Pekin, and engineer Jonathan Hassler calls Greencastle his hometown.
• 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 Gateway International Raceway
“I am really excited about heading back to ORP. Last year was the first time I’d raced there, and while we didn’t have a great finish, I feel like I learned a lot about racing there. As a driver, these are the kinds of tracks that I love to race. It reminds me of Saturday night showdown races. My dad has a tire shop just around the corner from the track, and as far back as I can remember, we’d go and watch the races there. Penske Racing has a lot of history at the Brickyard, and I’d like nothing more than to make some history for them at the little track as well.”
Crew chief Chad Walter on Gateway International Raceway
“Everyone loves going to O’Reilly Raceway Park. It’s a track that, as a racer, you mark on your schedule every year as a place you want to win. As a crew chief, I have to take a different approach to ORP. The track is different than any other place we go. The top groove is the preferred line, but if you can get the car to work on the bottom you might be on to something. Patience is a huge part of ORP. We have to wait for our competitors to make a mistake and then capitalize on it. Justin has shown that he can race on any track, so I am looking forward to this weekend.”