Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge … Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-007 in Friday evening’s Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. This is the same Verizon Dodge that Allgaier scored his first NASCAR victory with at Bristol in March. It most recently raced at Kentucky Speedway in June, where the Riverton, Ill. native started third and finished eighth.
• Most Recent Winner … Allgaier heads to Bristol Motor Speedway as the most recent race winner at the .533-mile bullring. Allgaier was able to hold off his teammate Brad Keselowski over the final 27 laps of the Scotts Turf Builder 300 in March to win his first-career NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
• New Colors … Allgaier’s Dodge will sport new colors this weekend when the traditional black colors of Verizon are replaced with a red “Rule the Air” paint scheme that will adorn the No. 12 for the remaining races of the 2010 season.
• Through 23 Races … With 23 races of the 2010 season in the record books, Allgaier has accumulated one pole, one win, six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes, and average starting and finishing positions of 11.9. Allgaier has led 133 laps of competition and has completed 98 percent of the laps contested (4,078 of 4,162) 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 Bristol Motor Speedway. He trails current point-leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 645 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 324 points.
• Last Time Out … Allgaier overcame an ill-handling Verizon Dodge Challenger in the first half of last Saturday’s Carfax 250 to record a track-best fourth-place finish at Michigan International Speedway.
• Allgaier at Bristol … In three previous NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Allgaier has one win, two top-five and two top-10 finishes. Additionally, the 24-year-old driver has an average starting position of 16.7, an average finish of 11th, and has completed 96.7 percent of the laps contested (826 of 854) at the Tennessee oval.
• He’s Got a Knack For The Place … Chad Walter, crew chief on the No. 12 Verizon Dodge, picked up his second Bristol win when Allgaier claimed the checkered flag in March. His first visit to Victory Lane came with Kyle Busch on March 25, 2006.
• Testing, 1-2-3 … Prior to heading to Bristol, Allgaier and the No. 12 team went to Gresham Motorsports Park for a test session on Monday, August 16.
• Penske Racing at Bristol … In 11 previous Nationwide Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Penske Racing entries have recorded two wins (Ryan Newman, 8/05 and Allgaier, 3/10) five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have been atop the leaderboard for 401 circuits in their time at the .533-mile concrete oval.
• 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.
• In-Race Reporter … Allgaier will serve as ESPN’s in-race reporter for Friday’s live broadcast of the Food City 250. Fans will see live in-car camera shots from the Verizon Dodge and listen as he and crew chief Chad Walter give live updates throughout the race.
• Meet the Driver … Fans can meet Allgaier on Thursday, August 19 from 6 – 7 p.m. EDT at the Verizon Wireless store located at 2608 E. Stone Dr. in Kingsport, Tenn. The following day, he will sign for fans at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer, located in the midway at Bristol Motor Speedway from 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Justin Allgaier on Bristol Motor Speedway
“I’ll be completely honest with you, ever since I laid eyes on Bristol Motor Speedway I’ve been in love with the place. I went there as a fan and watched races, but the first time I went there as a driver and walked down the track into the garage area, it was surreal. The first time I raced there, I think it took me about five laps, but we went to the top of the board. I felt like I got it right away. There aren’t many race tracks that I can say that about. The cars are changing, the track is changing, and drivers continue to get better but I feel that Chad (Walter, crew chief) and I have been able to evolve there and run well. And it’s a great place to have that feeling for.”
Crew chief Chad Walter on Bristol Motor Speedway
“We’re bringing back the same Verizon Dodge that we raced with here in March, so that gives us quite a bit of confidence heading into this weekend’s race. Bristol is such an incredible place, and racing there at night really brings everything to the next level. Justin loved racing at Bristol before we got the win in March, and I know that he’s going to walk into the place with a little extra confidence. We’re headed into the weekend fully expecting that we’ll have something for them, and we’ll do whatever we can to get the season sweep.”