Allen Finishes 12th at Gateway, Closes Points Gap in Rookie of the Year Standings
Nashville, TN - With just eight races remaining in the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, the battle for Rookie of the Year honors is beginning to heat up. Willie Allen brought his #13 National Pork Board/Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau Chevy Silverado to a 12th place finish this past weekend at Gateway International Raceway, bringing him within just 2 points of Tim Sauter for the top spot in the Rookie of the Year standings. The finish moved Allen to 17th in the overall driver standings where he also trails Sauter by 2 points.
"This years rookie race is very exciting," said Allen. "Tim Sauter is a great guy and I look forward to competing against him in every race. We just have to take it one race at a time and get the best finish we can week in and week out. We'll see what happens."
Allen qualified 10th for the Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 and ran the majority of the race in the top 15. A caution on lap 60 provided Allen the opportunity to come down pit road for tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Unfortunately, Allen was forced to return to the pits after a lugnut came loose on the left rear tire. Allen returned to the track in the 20th position and quickly worked his way back through the field. On lap 125, Allen narrowly avoided a spinning TJ Bell in an incident that could have very well ended the day early for the rookie. Allen finished the race in the Top 15 for the 4th time this season and was awarded the Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the second week in a row. Overall, Allen was pleased with his truck and what the ThorSport Racing team accomplished.
"Our truck was really good for this race. We were a little tight going in both turns, but we were able to gain a lot on the handling of the truck as the race went on. We were really good around the middle of the race, but we got run up into the wall. That messed us up a little, but the truck was starting to come back to me at the end of the race, we just ran out of time. This was a good weekend for us and we look forward to going to New Hampshire."
The 18th race of the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season takes place on Saturday, September 15th from the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH.