Allgaier Scores First-Career Top-Five Finish at Nashville Superspeedway

April 4, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 3, 2010) – Justin Allgaier, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished fourth in the Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday evening.

The finish extends the longest streak of consecutive top-10 finishes of Allgaier’s young NASCAR career to five, and allows him to maintain the third position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings, 21 markers behind point leader Carl Edwards.

Allgaier recorded the third and 13th-fastest times Friday’s two practice sessions, respectively. In Saturday morning’s time trials, Allgaier toured the concrete oval in 30.012 seconds, at an average speed of 159.896 mph, to earn the third starting spot for the 225-lap event.

From the onset of the race, Allgaier struggled with a tight-handling Verizon Dodge. Despite his handling woes, the 23-year-old driver maintained the third position until NASCAR elected to throw a competition caution at lap 30. Crew chief Chad Walter instructed Allgaier to follow the leaders down pit road for routine service of four fresh tires and fuel.  Problems on pit road cost the 23-year-old driver three spots, but it would take only a handful of laps before he regained the third position.

As the race continued under green-flag conditions, competitors began to hit pit road for service beginning at lap 99.  When the race leader slowed to make his way to pit road, Walter instructed Allgaier to follow suit.  With the No. 6 car of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. stopped in the stall behind him, Allgaier attempted to pull as far forward in his pit box as possible, which caused him to slide outside of the stall.  The Verizon crew quickly pushed him back inside his box so their service could begin when the No. 6 car began to exit his stall.  Stenhouse made contact with the rear tire carrier, Jake Brzozowski, sending him into the left rear quarter panel and forcing the tire from his hands. Fortunately, the brush-up did not injure Brzozowski, but it did cost the No. 12 team additional time on pit road.

Allgaier used the final third of the event to regain his position, which only took some 30 laps to accomplish. Despite an extremely tight-handling condition in the late stages of the event, Allgaier persevered to finish fourth.

“The Verizon Dodge guys did a great job all day long,” said Allgaier. “Nashville is a place where I haven’t had much success, so to finish fourth says a lot about the job these guys did today. We got behind on pit road a couple of times today, and that probably took us out of contention for the win. It’s frustrating, but we come back here in a couple of weeks, and we’ll have just as good of a car, of not better, and hopefully have a shot at the win.”

The Verizon team heads west next week to Phoenix International Raceway for the April 9 Bashas' Supermarkets 200. ESPN2’s live television coverage of the first night race of the 2010 season begins Friday, April 9 at 9 p.m. EDT. The event will also be broadcast live on MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.