Justin Allgaier, No. 12 Verizon Dodge - Kentucky Speedway Preview

June 8, 2010

Verizon Team News and Notes
• This Week’s Verizon Dodge… Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-007 in Saturday’s Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway. This is the same Verizon Dodge that the No. 12 team raced at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, where the 24-year-old driver recorded his first NASCAR win. It most recently raced at Darlington Raceway in May, where the 2009 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year finished 17th.
• After 13 Races… Over the season’s first 13 races, Allgaier has accumulated five top-five and seven top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 13.3 and an average finish of 9.2. The Riverton, Ill. native has led 96 laps of competition and has completed 99.9 percent of the laps contested (2,548 of 2,549) thus far. Allgaier enters Kentucky fifth in points, 295 markers behind point leader and Penske Racing teammate, Brad Keselowski.
• Best in Class… Allgaier’s fifth-place position in the point standings is best among full-time, Nationwide Series-only drivers. Allgaier leads fellow Nationwide-only driver Jason Leffler, currently ranked seventh, by 435 points.
• Allgaier at Kentucky… In his only previous NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Kentucky Speedway, Allgaier has a fifth-place finish. Additionally, Allgaier has made a combined nine starts in ARCA and Camping World Truck Series races at Kentucky, posting three top-five and four top-10 finishes.
• Getting By With a Little Help From My Friends… Chris Carrier will be atop the Verizon transporter for Friday evening’s dual practice sessions as crew chief Chad Walter will attend the graduation of his step son, Andrew, from South Rowan High School in China Grove, N.C. Walter will fly to Kentucky to call Saturday night’s race.
• Pole Winner… Allgaier earned his first pole of the 2010 season last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. It marks the second pole in 52 Nationwide Series starts for Allgaier, and the first since October of 2009 at Memphis Motorsports Park.
• Last Time Out… Allgaier started first in last Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 300 and rallied back from an untimely caution early in the race to record a fourth-place finish at Nashville. The finish matched the 24-year-old driver’s best at the 1.333-mile concrete oval.
• Meet the Press… Allgaier will be available inside the infield media center to field questions from the gathered media on Friday, June 11 at 3:15 p.m.
• Penske Racing in 2010… With 13 races completed in the 2010 season, Penske Racing’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series entries have recorded three poles, four wins, a combined 15 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. Penske Dodges have an average starting position of 11.3, an average finish of 6.7, have completed 5,097 of 5,098 laps contested, and have been atop the leaderboard for 618 laps with drivers Allgaier and Keselowski.
• Prelude to the Dream… Allgaier will return to his dirt racing roots this Wednesday night, June 9, when he will compete in the sixth-annual Prelude to the Dream at the legendary Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Allgaier, who began his racing career on dirt at the age of five, will join stars from NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, Rally Car and motocross as they battle not only for bragging rights, but also for charity. Allgaier will team with A.J. Allmendinger, Ron Capps, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Kenny Wallace and team captain Clint Bowyer to raise money for the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Ind.
• Little Gator… Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, will be at Kentucky Speedway this weekend with some exotic friends. Allgaier, dubbed “Little Gator” as the son of Mike “Gator” Allgaier, will have an opportunity to meet another little gator – albeit a real one, as Hanna brings a young resident of the zoo to the track for a meet-and-greet with Allgaier.
• Busy Week … Allgaier spent Monday, June 7 at Verizon’s corporate headquarters in Basking Ridge, N.J. for an employee day alongside his Penske Racing teammates. On Wednesday, June 9, he heads to Eldora Speedway, where he will compete in the 2010 Prelude to the Dream. From there, he heads to Indianapolis, Ind. where he will participate in a media event for O’Reilly Raceway Park before serving as grand marshal for the USAC race on Thursday, June 10. Friday morning he finally heads to Kentucky, where he will participate in events for series sponsor Nationwide before making it to the track that afternoon.
• Happy Birthday … Dustin Coonfield, front tire changer, and Chad Walter, crew chief, will celebrate their 38th and 39th birthdays, respectively, on Thursday, June 10.

Justin Allgaier on Kentucky Speedway
“Kentucky Speedway is a great track. I’ve ran well there in the ARCA Series, and we had a good run there last year in our Verizon Dodge. We feel like it’s a track where we can be competitive right off the truck. Qualifying and being on top of pit strategy are critical to being successful at Kentucky. We feel like we can go there, be competitive and get a top-five finish. That’s what it’s going to take to win the championship.”

Crew chief Chad Walter on Kentucky Speedway
“While the Nationwide Series has raced at Kentucky Speedway several times, it’s a very different track now after the upgrades and track grinding. The track has really opened up, there are multiple grooves. Drivers turn their best laps when the sun goes down, because there isn’t a lot of grip in the heat of the day. It’s almost a home away from home for me, because before the testing ban went into effect, that was a very popular place to go.”