Allgaier Finishes 14th in NNS Race at Auto Club Speedway FONTANA, Calif. - Justin Allgaier, who had never even been to Auto Club Speedway before Friday's practice sessions, battled all night in the top-15 during Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide ...
Allgaier Finishes 14th in NNS Race at Auto Club Speedway
FONTANA, Calif. - Justin Allgaier, who had never even been to Auto Club Speedway before Friday's practice sessions, battled all night in the top-15 during Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race before bringing the Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger home in the 14th spot.
Allgaier started the Stater Bros. 300 in the 17th position, but was determined not to stay there for long. On the first lap, Allgaier took his Verizon Wireless Dodge to the bottom of the two-mile track and made a clean pass on three of his Nationwide Series competitors. He called into crew chief Chad Walter on lap 16, explaining the car was really tight on entry and through the center of the corners. Allgaier said the condition was hurting the car in the exit of the turns because he was not able to get back on the gas quickly. Walter went to work figuring out what changes the No. 12 crew would make to the car during the first round of pit stops.
The team made its first stop of the night under green flag conditions on lap 40. The team changed four tires and filled the Dodge Charger with 18 gallons of racing fuel. The Verizon Wireless team also made a slight air pressure adjustment hoping it would free up the car in the corners. The pit crew had a great stop, picking up two positions on pit road.
When Allgaier saw the first caution flag of the night on lap 51 for an incident in turn 2, the team started to prepare for another pit stop. The Verizon Wireless Dodge rolled down pit lane on lap 53 for service. The team again changed four tires and filled the car up with fuel before sending Allgaier back on to the track.
Though he restarted the race in the 11th spot, Allgaier knew he had a car capable of running in the top-five. During the next long green flag run, Allgaier searched the wide two-mile track for different racing lines. He knew as the track gained grip the upper groove would be fast. He worked his machine on the high side, but Allgaier told Walter the car would not handle as well as he hoped up there.
Allgaier fought for the final 25 laps to try and capture his first top-10 finish in the Nationwide Series, but he came up just short, bringing the Verizon Wireless Dodge home in 14th place. With his top-15 finish, Allgaier jumped 15 positions in the championship point standings to 25th overall.
"I am really proud of the guys on the Verizon Wireless Dodge," commented Allgaier. "We brought a new car out here and to finish in the top-15 is a good building block. Chad [Walter] did a great job making the right calls on the pit box to improve our car during the race. I was battling a tight race car all day, but I felt as it got cooler and the track gained grip we got better. I just could not run the top line, which at this track is probably the right line, because you can keep up your momentum up there. I know when we come back for the second race out here later this year, we will have more experience as a group and hopefully be up there battling for the win. All in all I would say we had a successful day. We just need more time together as a team to work out all the kinks. I am really excited about Las Vegas and building on what we learned here this weekend."
Allgaier and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless team head to "Sin City" next week for the running of the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28.