Allgaier Wins First-Career NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

March 20, 2010

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 20, 2010) Justin Allgaier, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, was able to hold off his teammate Brad Keselowski over the final 27 laps of Saturday’s Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway to win his first-career NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

The win allowed Allgaier to advance one position, to third, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings. Four races into the 2010 season, Allgaier trails point leader Carl Edwards by 31 markers.

Allgaier recorded the third-fastest times in both of Friday’s two practice sessions. In Saturday morning’s qualifying session, Allgaier toured the .533-mile oval in 15.871 seconds, at an average speed of 120.900 mph, to earn the 30th starting spot for the 300-lap event. Despite the less-than-desired result, Allgaier and his Chad Walter-led team remained optimistic about their chances for the race later that afternoon.

Once racing action began, the 23-year-old driver wasted little time improving his position, advancing four positions on the first lap. Allgaier needed just five more laps to break inside the top 20, and despite a loose-handling condition, he continued his climb towards the front, advancing into the top 10 at lap 43.

When a multi-car incident at lap 90 brought out the yellow flag, Allgaier followed the rest of the field to pit road, where the Verizon team performed a routine four-tire stop that allowed the third-year driver to maintain his position towards the front of the field. As the laps clicked off, Allgaier consistently recorded lap times equal to, or faster than, the race leader.

As the race neared the conclusion, Allgaier continued his climb to the top of the leaderboard, taking the second position at lap 233. A multi-car incident at lap 266 brought out the caution flag, allowing Allgaier to line up alongside Keselowski for the lap-273 restart. The Riverton, Ill. native took the lead when the green flag waved, and a spirited battle among the Penske Racing teammates ensued. Allgaier was able to keep Keselowski at bay, taking the checkered flag for his first-career NASCAR win.

“The Verizon Dodge guys are awesome,” said Allgaier. “This is an unbelievable win. That battle with Brad at the end was awesome. I couldn’t be happier to see two Penske cars running up there for the win. I have to admit that it’s pretty unbelievable. We had a great car in practice and I screwed up qualifying and didn’t get the run that we really needed. Chad (Walter, crew chief) told me that if I was there all day long and pushed it really hard, we’d be in victory lane and we’re here. This is unbelievable. I hope this is the first of many more wins to come this year.”

The Verizon team will enjoy an off-week in the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule before heading to Nashville Superspeedway. ESPN’s live television coverage of the Nashville 300 begins Saturday, April 3 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. The event will also be broadcast live on MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.