WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 7, 2010) – Justin Allgaier, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, had a strong run going in the early part of Saturday afternoon’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, but an unavoidable multi-car incident on lap 25 left the third-year driver with a 34th-place finish.
Although the less-than-desired result did not affect Allgaier’s fourth-place position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings, the 2009 series Rookie of the Year now trails point leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 615 markers.
Allgaier recorded the 19th-fastest time in Friday’s Nationwide Series final practice session. Saturday morning, the Riverton, Ill. native ran a lap of 73.907 seconds, at an average speed of 119.339 mph, to earn the 20th starting position for the 200-mile event later that afternoon.
Allgaier kept his Verizon Dodge running around his 20th-place starting spot for the opening 11 laps of the race before coming to pit road for a scheduled pit stop at lap 12. The Riverton, Ill. native ran lap times consistent to those of the race leader and began to pick up spots when others hit pit road for their scheduled service. Debris on the racing surface forced NASCAR to display the caution at lap 19, and when the field resumed racing under green-flag conditions, Allgaier was posted in 14th place.
As the field exited Turn 1 at lap 25, a multi-car incident triggered by another competitor unfolded directly in front of the Verizon Dodge. As Allgaier slowed to avoid the melee, he was hit from behind by another competitor, sending him into the carnage. The resulting damage forced the No. 12 crew to take their battered Dodge Charger to the garage area, where they spent several laps making repairs.
Allgaier’s Chad Walter-led crew made the necessary repairs and sent Allgaier back onto the racing surface to complete as many laps as possible. However, the damage from the incident proved much worse than originally diagnosed, causing the engine to expire before completing another lap on the track.
"I saw the No. 38 car get out of shape coming out of Turn 1,” said Allgaier of the incident. “Unfortunately, he came back across the race track and it caused a big mess. It's just a shame for these Verizon Dodge guys because I felt like our pit strategy was on par with where we needed to be and the car was running really well. The team did a great job getting this Charger put back together so we could go out and log some laps. I guess the damage was worse than we thought. It’s a tough finish, but the guys worked hard to make the most of our day.”
Next weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for the Carfax 250. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN on Saturday, August 14 beginning at 1 p.m. EDT. The race can also be heard live on MRN Radio.