Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge … Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-023 in Saturday afternoon’s Zippo 200 at The Glen. The 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year debuted this Verizon Dodge at Road America in June, where he recorded a 35th-place finish after suffering a part failure on the first lap of the event.
• Through 21 Races … With 21 races of the 2010 season in the record books, Allgaier has accumulated one pole, one win, five top-five and 12 top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 11.8 and an average finish of 11.2. Allgaier has led 131 laps of competition and has completed 99.3 percent of the laps contested (3,928 of 3,955) so far this season.
• Get to the Points … Allgaier ranks fourth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship point standings heading into this weekend’s event at Watkins Glen International. He trails current point-leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 516 points, and third-place contender Kyle Busch by 43 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 Steve Wallace, currently ranked seventh, by 345 points.
• Last Time Out … Allgaier overcame a practice incident that saw him go to a backup car to qualify, and finish eighth in last Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway.
• Allgaier at The Glen … In his only previous start at Watkins Glen International, Allgaier started 27th and finished 17th in the 2009 running of the Zippo 200.
• Road Racing Averages … In three Nationwide Series starts at road course facilities - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Road America and Watkins Glen International – Allgaier has accumulated an average starting position of 28th and an average finish of 29.3. Additionally, the 24-year-old driver has completed 137 of 208 possible laps.
• Road Course Winner … In his only road course start in ARCA competition, at New Jersey Motorsports Park in September of 2008, Allgaier led 14 laps en-route to claiming the checkered flag.
• Penske Racing at The Glen … In six previous Nationwide Series starts at Watkins Glen International, Penske Racing entries have recorded one win (Kurt Busch, August 2006), two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have been atop the leaderboard for 62 circuits in their time at The Glen, have an average starting position of 7.5, and average finish of 17.8 and have completed 80.6 percent of the laps contested (398 of 494).
• Penske Racing in 2010 … With 21 races completed in the 2010 season, Penske Racing’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series entries have recorded five poles, four wins, a combined 20 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have completed 7,882 of 7,910 laps contested, and have been atop the leaderboard for 897 laps with drivers Allgaier and Keselowski.
• Meet the Driver … Fans can meet Allgaier on Friday, August 6 from 12:30 – 1 p.m. EDT at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer, located in the midway at Watkins Glen International. Later that afternoon, he will sign for fans at the Verizon Wireless store located at 830 County Road Route 64 in Elmira, N.Y. from 6 – 7 p.m.
• Welcome Aboard … In an effort to put the strongest over-the-wall team behind Allgaier for the second half of the season, three members of the No. 2 Cup Series pit crew have joined the Verizon team. Front-tire changer Jay Hackney, jack man Ray Gallahan and rear-tire changer Travis Johnson start their Saturday work this weekend at Watkins Glen.
• Welcome Home, Chad … Chad Walter, crew chief of the No. 12 Verizon Dodge, hails from Albion, N.Y., located approximately 120 miles northwest of Watkins Glen International. Walter, who joined Penske Racing in 2008, is a three-time NASCAR Nationwide Series winning crew chief. The 39-year-old is a 1993 graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
• Happy Birthday … Joe Allen, transporter driver, celebrated his 39th birthday Tuesday, August 3.
Justin Allgaier on Watkins Glen International
“Watkins Glen is a track that I’ve really enjoyed since the first time I laid eyes on it. It’s a very cool track with a lot of history behind it. It’s one of the tracks that the oval drivers seem to run well at, as opposed to some of the other more technical road courses. It certainly has its technical spots, but it’s more high speed and I think that suits the oval guys a little better. We struggled in this race last year, but it was my first road race in a Nationwide car, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Heading into this race, I feel like I’ve got a much better understanding of road racing, and how to run with the best of them.”
Crew chief Chad Walter on Watkins Glen International
“I couldn’t be more excited to head to Watkins Glen this weekend. It’s my home track, so it’s always great to see family and friends that I don’t get to see very often. Watkins Glen is an all-encompassing track. It takes a little bit of everything to be successful there. Aerodynamics, horsepower, braking and suspension all play a very important part, probably more at The Glen than anywhere else. Justin is becoming a better road racer with the experience that he’s gained running these races. Some of the greatest road course racers enter this race, so he’ll have an opportunity not only to race those guys, but to learn from them as well.”