Late-Race Race Incident Ends a Solid Run for Allgaier

April 26, 2009

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April, 25, 2009) – Justin Allgaier and the No.12 Verizon Wireless Dodge team had a solid performance going at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway Saturday until the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate was taken out with less than three laps remaining in the Aaron’s 312 and was relegated a 32nd-place result. 

Allgaier started the event in the 28th position, knowing he would have to use patience throughout the race to capture a strong finish. Talladega Superspeedway is known for its four- and sometimes five-wide racing and cooler heads typically prevail. The 22-year-old Riverton, Illinois native used the first 30 laps of the event to search out both drafting partners as well as the fastest line around the famed Alabama speedway. Allgaier positioned his way into the lead pack and remained there for the first green flag stint of the race.

Allgaier brought the No. 12 machine down pit lane on lap 39 for a rare green flag pit stop. The team changed four tires and filled the Verizon Wireless Dodge with fuel. The crew also made a slight wedge adjustment to the right side of their machine, trying to dial in its handling for the next segment. The team had a solid stop, picking up two positions on pit road.

On lap 53, the first caution flag of the race was displayed to the field. Crew chief Chad Walter called the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge back to pit road for service. Allgaier rolled into the pits two laps later for a fuel-only stop. Walter knew the car’s Goodyear tires were not an issue and wanted to keep the No. 12 out front.

The race returned to green flag conditions on lap 58 and Allgaier found himself in the fifth position. For the next 30 laps Allgaier kept his machine on the bottom side of the track, using the draft to his advantage. He raced three- and sometimes four-wide with his competitors down the straightaway. Allagaier radioed the team on lap 81 to explain he was being cautious as he tried to protect his machine for the final laps.

The caution flag was again displayed to the field on lap 86 due to oil in the racing groove. The team took advantage of the caution period to bring the Verizon Wireless Dodge down pit lane. The car rolled to a stop on lap 89 for the last scheduled stop of the day. The team went to work changing both right side tires and filling the car with enough fuel to get to the finish. 

Allgaier knew he would have to be disciplined to produce the finish he wanted. For the next 15 laps, Allgaier worked with drafting partners that could push him to the front. His diligence was paying off, and by lap 112 Allgaier was in the 11th spot, moving up through the field
Two laps later, Allgaier pulled to the top side of the racetrack hoping to get a push to the lead. Unfortunately, the push came in the middle of turns 3 and 4, sending Allgaier into a spin. The No. 12 slammed into another machine before coming to rest on the apron. Allgaier got out of his car unscathed, but his chance for victory was over. Despite the result, Allgaier remains ninth in the Nationwide Series point standings after eight races.

“We had a great run going today,” commented Allgaier after the event. “People just got impatient there at the end. I thought we were in a really good position to get back to the front. I had a head of steam and went to the high side, but got hit from behind.

“I just hate it for all the guys on the Verizon Wireless Dodge team. They brought a great race car to Talladega and I was just trying to bide my time until the end of the race. [Crew chief] Chad Water did a great job preparing this car and it was really fun out there today. I guess it just wasn’t our day. We will regroup and get them next week in Richmond.”

The Verizon Wireless team will head to Richmond, Virginia to race under the lights on Friday, May 1st at Richmond International Raceway. The Lipton Tea 250 will be seen live on Friday, May 1 on ESPN 2 with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 128.

Justin Allgaier Aaron’s 312 Statistics
Start: 28th  
Finish: 32nd   
Laps: 114/120
Laps Led: 0
Status: Accident