Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge … Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-007 in Saturday afternoon’s CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway. This is the same Verizon Dodge that Allgaier scored his first NASCAR victory with at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. The 2009 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year then raced it at Kentucky Speedway in June, where he started third and finished eighth. It most recently raced at BMS in August, where the Riverton, Ill.-native started fourth and finished 33rd after being involved in an incident that eliminated him from contention after 186 of 250 laps.
• Through 29 Races … With 29 races of the 2010 season in the record books, Allgaier has accumulated one pole, one win, six top-five and 16 top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 12.2 and an average finish of 12.3. Allgaier has led 133 laps of competition and has completed 97.2 percent of the laps contested (5,186 of 5,334) so far this season.
• Get to the Points … Allgaier ranks fourth in the NNS championship point standings heading into this weekend’s event at ACS. He trails current point leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 793 points, and third-place contender Kyle Busch by 293 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 509 points.
• Allgaier at Auto Club Speedway … In three previous NNS starts at ACS, Allgaier has one top-10 finish. Additionally, the 24-year-old driver has an average starting position of 11.7, an average finish of 13th, and has completed 100 percent of the laps contested (454 of 454) at the two-mile, D-shaped oval.
• Penske Racing at Auto Club Speedway … In eight previous NNS starts at ACS, Penske Racing entries have recorded two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Penske’s Dodges have averaged starting positions of 13.4, finishing positions of 16.4, have completed 94.2 percent of the laps contested (1,136 of 1,206) and have led 20 laps.
• Penske Racing in 2010 … With 29 races completed in the 2010 season, Penske Racing’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series entries have recorded six poles, five wins, a combined 26 top-five and 39 top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have completed 10,519 of 10,668 laps contested, and have been atop the leaderboard for 1,128 laps with drivers Allgaier and Keselowski.
• Last Time Out … Allgaier was able to overcome a myriad of issues in last Saturday afternoon’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway to record a seventh-place finish.
• Cast Your Vote … Some 30,000 fans have cast their votes since July 6, and Allgaier is currently ranked among the top-five in the NNS Most Popular Driver award voting (through Wednesday, Sept. 15). Fans can visit www.nascarnationwideseries.com to vote for their favorite NASCAR Nationwide Series driver. Voting continues through Saturday, November 13.
• Meet the Driver … Fans can meet Allgaier on Thursday, October 7 at the AAA/Stater Bros. Racefest, located in the DiscoverIE FanZone at Auto Club Speedway, where he will sign for fans from 5:45 – 7:30 p.m. PDT.
• High Above Clear Lake Avenue … As a part of breast cancer awareness month, Springfield, Ill.-based St. John's Hospital unveiled a "Real Men Wear Pink" billboard featuring Allgaier. The billboard will remain above one of the busiest sections of Springfield for the month of October.
• Happy Birthday, Tom … Tom Clavette, car chief on the No. 12 Verizon Dodge, will celebrate his 51st birthday on Sunday, October 10.
Justin Allgaier on Auto Club Speedway
“I always look forward to heading to Auto Club Speedway. We don’t get to travel to the West Coast often, so we try to make the most of getting to put on an exciting race for the California fans. The track itself is very big, fast and reminiscent of Michigan International Speedway. We had a solid top-10 finish the last time we raced there in February, and felt really good about our day. It’s important to practice well, have a strong qualifying run, and maintain a decent pace throughout the race and, hopefully, we’ll put ourselves in position to have a great race.”
Crew chief Chad Walter on Auto Club Speedway
“We’re bringing Chassis 007, which we last raced at Bristol. It sounds strange that we would do that, but it was heavily damaged about three-quarters of the way through the race and when we looked at the schedule, we decided to convert it to a downforce car rather than it’s original short-track configuration. Races at Auto Club Speedway are always exciting to me because of the driver’s ability to use many different grooves to find speed. It’s a fun venue and I enjoy heading to the west coast.”