Tough Finish for Allgaier, Verizon Team at Richmond

May 1, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. (April 30, 2010) – Justin Allgaier, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, appeared to be headed for a third-place finish in Friday night’s Bubba Burgers 250 at Richmond International Raceway, but an untimely caution with just a handful of laps remaining saw the 23-year-old driver relegated to a 15th-place finish.

Allgaier’s ninth-consecutive top-15 finish allows him to remain fourth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings. Nine races into the 2010 season, Allgaier trails point leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 180 markers.

Allgaier recorded the sixth-best time in Friday’s sole Nationwide Series practice session and, later that afternoon, recorded a lap of 21.939 seconds at an average speed of 123.069 mph to place him ninth on the starting grid for the 250-lap feature. 

Allgaier advanced his position from the drop of the green flag, moving inside the top five for the first time at lap 33. The Riverton, Ill. native consistently recorded times equal to, or faster than, the race leader as he worked his way to the second position at lap 102.

As the laps clicked off, Allgaier appeared in position to record a podium finish. However, when the No. 98 of Paul Menard hit the wall at lap 245, NASCAR was forced to throw the caution flag. Once pit road opened, race leader Keselowski headed to pit road with the rest of the leaders, with the exception of Allgaier and Kyle Busch.

When the race restarted, newer tires prevailed as Allgaier was shuffled to the high side of the track in Turn 1, forcing him out of line and opening the door for the lead-lap cars to pick off his positions. Allgaier did what he could to hold onto his Verizon Dodge, crossing the finish line 15th.

Keselowski scored his second Nationwide Series win in as many weeks, extending his point lead to 59 over Kevin Harvick.

"That was a tough way to end a really solid race for our Verizon team,” said Allgaier. “I'm a little bit stunned right now. To come home with a 15th-place finish after restarting third on the green-white-checkered is a tough one to swallow. On the last restart, I spun the tires and got pushed up the track and lost a ton of positions. I was a sitting duck once I got pushed out of line. It's tough. We had a really good race car tonight and the final result isn't going to show it. Chad (Walter, crew chief) and the guys did a great job all night. We'll just take what we got tonight and move forward the next race."

Next weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Darlington Raceway. The 200-mile race will be televised live on ESPN2 Friday, May 7 beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. The Motor Racing Network and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio will also provide live lap-by-lap coverage.