Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge … Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-206 in Saturday afternoon’s Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway. This is a brand new Verizon Dodge Challenger that will be put through its first paces this weekend at Michigan.
• The Challenger Returns … Michigan marks the second of four events where the new Nationwide Series car will be utilized in 2010. Allgaier debuted his Verizon Challenger at Daytona International Speedway in July, which was the first Nationwide Series race that featured a Dodge Challenger since the early 1980s. Allgaier will race his Challenger again at Richmond International Raceway in September and Charlotte Motor Speedway in October.
• Through 22 Races … With 22 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 12.1 and an average finish of 12.3. Allgaier has led 131 laps of competition and has completed 97.9 percent of the laps contested (3,953 of 4,037) 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 Michigan International Speedway. He trails current point-leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 615 points, and third-place contender Kyle Busch by 142 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 268 points.
• Last Time Out … Allgaier had a strong run going in the early part of last 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.
• Allgaier at Michigan … In his only previous start at Michigan International Speedway, Allgaier started 28th and finished seventh in the 2009 running of the Carfax 250.
• Are You Experienced? … In addition to his one previous Nationwide Series start at the Irish Hills oval, Allgaier has competed in four ARCA Series races at Michigan International Speedway, where he has posted a pair of top-five qualifying efforts.
• Penske Racing at Michigan … In five previous Nationwide Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, Penske Racing entries have recorded two wins (Ryan Newman, August 2001 and August 2005), two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have been atop the leaderboard for 170 circuits in their time at Michigan, and have completed all but one of the laps contested (627 of 628).
• Penske Racing in 2010 … With 22 races completed in the 2010 season, Penske Racing’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series entries have recorded five poles, four wins, a combined 21 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have completed 8,259 of 8,614 laps contested, and have been atop the leaderboard for 897 laps with drivers Allgaier and Keselowski.
• Meet the Driver … Fans can meet Allgaier on Thursday, August 12 from 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. EDT outside the Turn 1 Grandstand Pavillion, where he will participate in the NASCAR Nationwide Series group autograph session. Additionally, he will sign autographs for fans at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer, located in the midway at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, August 14 from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
• Welcome Home, Wilbur … Ed “Wilbur” Peel, mechanic on the No. 12 Verizon Dodge, hails from Harrison, Mich., located approximately 150 miles north of Michigan International Speedway.
Justin Allgaier on Michigan International Speedway
“It goes without saying that a win at Michigan would be huge for our Verizon team. Roger Penske lives outside of Detroit and Dodge calls the area their home. It would be monumental if we were to win at Michigan. The track itself is huge. It’s a fun track, but a challenging one due to the seams in the pavement. The track lacks overall grip, and that provides another challenge. I feel like this race will have a lot of interest being as it is a race featuring the new Nationwide Series cars, and I think we, as drivers, will be challenged because we’ll have to drive differently given the new car configuration.”
Crew chief Chad Walter on Michigan International Speedway
“Michigan is usually all about finding a comfortable car that can run multiple lines, which once again is no different for this weekend’s race. It’s going to be a challenge for crew chiefs to make that happen with the new Nationwide Series car. NASCAR did a fantastic job of choosing diverse tracks to run the new car at. Since this is the first time we’ll race our new Verizon Challenger at a track like Michigan, we really aren’t sure what to expect. With the Challenger having lots of drag and no rear downforce, we’re certainly facing a challenge this weekend. With that being said, we are confident in our abilities as a team to rise up and meet that challenge, and hopefully be among the quickest to get dialed in.”