Allgaier Starts 29th, Finishes 16th after Late-Race Incident at Dover

May 15, 2010

DOVER, Del. (May 15, 2010) – Justin Allgaier, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, overcame a 29th-place starting position to contend for a top-10 finish in the late stages of Saturday’s Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway, but contact with another competitor on the final lap relegated the 23-year-old driver to a 16th-place finish.

After the 11th race of the 2010 season, Allgaier maintains the fifth position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings, trailing point leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by 245 markers.

Allgaier recorded the 14th-fastest time in Friday’s sole Nationwide Series practice session. In the following morning’s time trial session, the 2009 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year recorded a lap of 23.643 seconds at an average speed of 152.265 mph to place him 29th on the starting grid for the scheduled 200-lap feature. 

Allgaier put on a strong performance early, advancing 10 positions in the opening eight laps. Despite less-than-ideal handling conditions, Allgaier continued to show the strength of his Verizon Dodge by overtaking Trevor Bayne for the 15th position at lap 76.

Following a brief caution period for a spin involving Keselowski at lap 104, the Riverton, Ill. native continued his climb towards the top of the leaderboard when he showed a race-best seventh at lap 110.  As the laps clicked off, Allgaier engaged in several battles that saw him fall to the 14th position with only a handful of laps remaining in the event.

As the field readied to take the green flag, Allgaier reported to crew chief Chad Walter that he had a tire going down. Unsure of which tire it was, Walter made the call to change all four tires to give his driver assurance that he would be ready to race to the checkered flag. After careful examination, tire specialist Chris Jones surmised that debris and rubber build up on the tires was to blame for the symptoms that mirrored those of a failing tire. The unfortunate circumstance turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as when the field restarted at lap 198, the pack of cars Allgaier was racing with were collected in a multi-car pileup.

With one final chance of improving his position, Allgaier restarted 14th and gained one spot when the white flag was displayed. As the field came to the finish line, Allgaier and the No. 15 of Michael Annett made contact with one another, resulting in a 16th-place finish for the driver of the Verizon Dodge.

“It was a busy day inside the car for sure,” said Allgaier. “It started with me making a mistake on pit road with our Verizon Dodge. We put ourselves in a bit of a hole by starting 29th, but we had a fast race car and drove all the way inside the top 10. Unfortunately, we couldn't get any better and the car just became a hand full. It was just one of those days. We’ll look forward to the off weekend, and get ready for Charlotte.”

Next weekend, the teams and drivers of the NASCAR Nationwide Series will enjoy a rare off-week before heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 on May 29. ABC’s live television coverage of the 300 miler begins Saturday, April 3 at 2 p.m. EDT. The event will also be broadcast live on PRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.