Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge … Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-032 in Saturday evening’s Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Built new for 2010, this Dodge Charger debuted at Texas Motor Speedway in April, where Allgaier started 18th and finished 11th. The 2009 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year then raced it at Charlotte, where he started 11th and finished fourth. It most recently raced at Chicagoland Speedway in June, where Allgaier started 11th and finished 10th.
• Through 25 Races … With 25 races of the 2010 season in the record books, Allgaier has accumulated one pole, one win, six top-five and 14 top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 12.1 and an average finish of 12.6. Allgaier has led 133 laps of competition and has completed 96.7 percent of the laps contested (4,341 of 4,489) 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 Atlanta Motor Speedway. He trails current point-leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 734 points, and third-place contender Kyle Busch by 135 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 404 points.
• Allgaier at Atlanta … In his only previous start at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Allgaier started 33rd and finished 17th in the 2009 running of the Labor Day weekend classic.
• Quad-Oval Averages … In nine previous Nationwide Series starts at 1.5-mile, quad-oval tracks (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway) Allgaier has one top-five starting position, five top-15 finishes, an average starting position of 17.6, an average finish of 16.4, and has completed 1,631 of 1,768 of the laps contested.
• Last Time Out … Allgaier was able to overcome an early pit road problem to record a career-best road course finish of ninth in last Sunday’s Napa Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve..
• Penske Racing in 2010 … With 25 races completed in the 2010 season, Penske Racing’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series entries have recorded six poles, five wins, a combined 24 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have completed 8,829 of 8,978 laps contested, and have been atop the leaderboard for 1,051 laps with drivers Allgaier and Keselowski.
• Penske Racing in the ATL … In four previous Nationwide Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Penske Racing entries have recorded one pole and three top-five starts. Penske Dodges have an average starting position of 10.2, an average finish of 25.8, have completed 82.2 percent of the laps contested (648 of 788) and have led one lap.
• Meet the Driver … Fans can meet Allgaier on Friday, September 3 from 6 – 7 p.m. EDT at the Verizon Wireless store located at 1445 N. Expressway in Griffin, Ga. The following day, he will sign for fans at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer, located in the midway at Atlanta Motor Speedway, from 1 – 1:30 p.m.
Justin Allgaier on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
“Atlanta is a fun, extremely fast track. When you talk to drivers about speed, Atlanta is definitely one of the first tracks that come to mind. The biggest thing about Atlanta is how hard you can race the track, despite how little grip there is compared to some of the other tracks we race at. Atlanta definitely has character; there are bumps and seams that can cause some problems. We didn’t run very well in this race last year, but we didn’t feel that our mile-and-a-half program was very good at that time. One year later, we feel that our program has turned 180 degrees and that we’ll be in good shape come this weekend.”
Crew chief Chad Walter on Atlanta Motor Speedway
“We had a tough race last year in Atlanta. Justin had never been there before, and with the schedule the way it is with practicing in the morning, qualifying in the afternoon then racing at night, it certainly provided us a challenge. Atlanta is quite a fast track, and a lot of fun. As the race goes on, there are multiple lines that form through the corners. We’ve got to make sure that our Verizon Dodge is comfortable to take advantage of this. Track position will be key, so our qualifying effort will be critical. The engine department has continued to deliver us outstanding horsepower that will certainly give us a clear cut advantage.”