Las Vegas: Justin Allgaier race report

Allgaier Has Career Day At Las Vegas Motor Speedway Rookie sensation Justin Allgaier had a career day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday bringing the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger home in the eighth spot. The finish...

Allgaier Has Career Day At Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Rookie sensation Justin Allgaier had a career day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday bringing the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger home in the eighth spot. The finish marked the first top-10 result in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 22-year-old driver.

After qualifying 11th, the No. 12 team knew it had a strong car for Saturdays 300-mile event and 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-five. He radioed his crew to explain the car was a little tight in the middle of the corners, but was really good on entry of the turns. Crew chief Chad Walter contemplated the changes the team would make to the car during the next round of pit stops.

When the caution flag was displayed to the field on lap 66, the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge team prepared to see its car on pit lane. Allgaier brought his machine to the pits on lap 71 and the team went to work changing four tires and filling the car up with racing fuel. The crew also made a slight chassis adjustment hoping to free the cars handling for the next run.

The team did a phenomenal job on pit road, gaining two positions, and Allgaier again took the green flag in the fifth spot. He radioed to the team to report the car was running well and it was showing on the race track. The No.12 Verizon Wireless Dodge was consistently the fastest machine on the track and was picking up positions in nearly every corner. Allgaier captured the lead from Nationwide Series champion Carl Edwards on lap 96 for his first laps led of the season and he started to pull away from the field.

The caution flag was displayed to the field two laps later and the team geared up for its next pit stop. Allgaier pulled into the No. 12 pit box on lap 101 to take on 18 gallons of racing fuel. Walter knew the importance of a quick stop to remain up front and wanted to save the cars tires until the end of the race.

Allgaier restarted the Sams Town 300 on lap 110 in the sixth position and was again on a quest toward the front. Within 10 laps, he had made it all the way up to the runner up spot and was battling for the lead. He again called into his crew, this time explaining the car was tight-handling and he was having a hard time keeping his Dodge Charger running on the bottom of the track.

With only 50 laps to go in the event, Allgaier had positioned himself solidly in the top-five. He battled for the remaining laps with established NASCAR stars Edwards, Brian Vickers and eventual race-winner Greg Biffle to bring home a career-best Nationwide Series finish of eighth. The strong result elevated Allgaier 14 spots into the 11th position in Nationwide Series driver point standings.

It was a great effort all the way around, commented driver Justin Allgaier. Chad [Walter] and all the guys on the team worked their tails off this weekend and it showed during the race. It is an honor to be the driver of this 12 car. As a driver, you cant ask for more than to be running up front, and we were all day. We are building a solid base and are getting better each week. I am really looking forward to going to Bristol.

Allgaier and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless team will next see race action in Thunder Valley on Saturday, March 21 at the famed Bristol Motor Speedway.

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Greg Biffle , Carl Edwards , Justin Allgaier
Teams Team Penske