Bristol: Justin Allgaier race report

Allgaier Has Another Career Day in Bristol Bristol, Tenn. -- Rookie sensation Justin Allgaier had a career day at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday bringing the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger home in the ...

Allgaier Has Another Career Day in Bristol

Bristol, Tenn. -- Rookie sensation Justin Allgaier had a career day at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday bringing the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger home in the fifth position. The finish in the Scotts Turf Builder 300 marked the first top-five result in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 22-year-old driver.

After qualifying 14th, the No. 12 team knew it had a strong car for Saturday's 300-lap event and the Verizon Wireless Dodge showed its strength from the drop of the green flag, running among the leaders. By lap 50, Allgaier had positioned himself solidly in the top-10. He radioed his crew to explain the car was handling a little tight in from the center and through the exit of the corners. Crew chief Chad Walter contemplated the changes the team would make to improve the car's performance on its first visit to pit lane.

When the caution flag was displayed to the field on lap 85, the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge team prepared to go to work on its car. Allgaier brought his machine to the pits on lap 87 and the team changed four tires and filled the car up with racing fuel. The crew also made a slight air pressure adjustment hoping to free the car's handling for the next run.

Allgaier restarted his Verizon Wireless Dodge in the 11th spot. Even though it was the 22-year-old's first appearance in Thunder Valley, he displayed a veteran-like demeanor when passing the competition on the track. He knew his Penske Racing Dodge Charger was strong, but he had to keep the car out of trouble to get the finish he deserved.

Allgaier radioed to the crew on lap 136, describing how his car was not reacting to the changes they made. Walter explained to his driver the team would make some adjustments on the next stop and to take care of the car. The ill-handling machine did not hinder the driver of the No. 12 car from still battling among the top-10. He discovered the high groove on the track and was starting to pass the field on Bristol's high line.

When the caution flag was again displayed on lap 252, the team prepared for its final pit stop of the day. Allgaier brought the Verizon Wireless Dodge down pit lane on lap 253 for service. The team did a great job putting on four fresh tires and filling its Dodge with enough fuel to get the machine to the end of the event. The crew also made a small chassis adjustment hoping to get the car dialed in for the final 50-lap showdown.

Allgaier restarted the race in the fifth spot and battled with NASCAR stars Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth in the closing laps to capture the first top-five finish of his Nationwide Series career, following his first top-10 result in his last series start. The strong showing elevated Allgaier three spots into the eighth position in the series driver point standings. The career-best effort also catapulted Allgaier to the lead in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings as he emerged as the top rookie finisher in Saturday's field.

Allgaier and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless team will look to continue their recent roll in two weeks when they visit Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly 300 on Saturday, April 4.

-credit: pr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Carl Edwards , Justin Allgaier
Teams Team Penske