Justin Allgaier Finishes 29th at Nashville Superspeedway

April 11, 2009

LEBANON, TEN. (April 11, 2009) – Justin Allgaier fought a tight race car as well as tight corners at the Nashville Superspeedway to bring the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge home in the 29th position Saturday in the NASCAR Nationwide Series 300.

Allgaier had his best qualifying effort of the 2009 campaign prior to the start of the 300-mile event, earning a ninth-place starting position.

After taking the green flag, Allgaier battled an ill-handling car during the first segment of the race. He radioed to his crew chief, Chad Walter, on lap 22 to explain the car was handling extremely tight from the center through the exit of the corners. The tight condition was hurting the forward progress of the Verizon Wireless Dodge.

When the caution flag was displayed to the field for the first time on lap 30, the No.12 team prepared to see its driver and car on pit lane. Allgaier brought his Verizon Wireless machine down pit road two laps later for service. The team changed four tires and filled the car with racing fuel. The crew also made both air pressure and trackbar adjustments hoping to help the car’s balance through the corners.

The team produced a speedy pit stop and sent the No.12 Dodge back out onto the racing surface in the sixth spot, picking up two valuable positions on pit road. Handling was still an issue, though, as Allgaier radioed to his team on lap 51 to explain the car was now tight on entry into the corners. The Riverton, Ill. native commented that he was having trouble getting back on the throttle quickly, which was hurting his lap times. Walter told his driver the team would make another change during the next round of pit stops.

When the caution flag was again displayed to the field on lap 81, the team prepared for its second stop of the day. Allgaier brought the Verizon Wireless Dodge down the pit lane on lap 83 for service.  The team again put on four fresh Goodyear tires and filled the car with fuel. An air pressure adjustment was also made to all four tires. Allgaier stalled the car coming into the pits and the car would not restart. The team had to push the No. 12 down pit lane, which cost valuable track position.

Returning to green flag racing on lap 86, Allgaier found himself back in the 18th position. The rookie racer kept battling and by the midpoint of the race he had fought his way all the way back into the 12th position. 

When the field was again put under the yellow flag caution on lap 184, the team prepared for its final pit stop of the day. The No.12 Verizon Wireless crew put on four fresh tires and filled the car with enough fuel to make it to the end of the event. They also made another air pressure adjustment, along with a chassis change, hoping to dial the car in for the final run. The team again had to push-start the car in the pits, which dropped the No. 12 back further in the running order.

Allgaier restarted the race with 28 laps remaining and was determined to race his way back towards the front. On lap 203, he lost control of the machine, as it hit the outside retaining wall. The damage to the car forced Allgaier to pit road under green flag conditions. The team repaired the damage, but the car went three laps down to the race leaders in the process. Allgaier persevered and brought the Verizon Wireless car home in the 29th spot. The result left Allgaier seventh in the Nationwide Series driver point standings, now 283 points away from series leader Carl Edwards.

“Everyone on the Verizon Wireless team really worked hard today,” commented Allgaier. “We got behind the eight ball in practice and tried a lot of different things to make the car comfortable for long runs. I am really proud the effort that everyone put in all weekend. During some of the runs, we found a comfort level in the car where it was competitive with most of the cars on the track. We made gains on it all day, but unfortunately long runs at Nashville are very hard on tires and I put myself in a situation that hurt our progression. The finish, unfortunately, doesn’t show how hard we worked but I am sure we will all be glad to get to Phoenix next weekend.”

Allgaier and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless team head west to Phoenix International Raceway for a Friday night showdown next week. The Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 be seen live on Friday, April 17 on ESPN 2 with coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 128.