Allgaier Finishes 11th in Rain-Delayed O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway FORT WORTH, Texas (April 19, 2010) -- Justin Allgaier, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, appeared to be headed for a...
Allgaier Finishes 11th in Rain-Delayed O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 19, 2010) -- Justin Allgaier, driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, appeared to be headed for a top-10 finish in Monday's rain-delayed NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, but a slow car on a late-race restart hindered the third-year driver's chances at his sixth top-10 finish in seven races.
The finish advanced Allgaier one position, to fourth, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings. Seven races into the 2010 season, Allgaier trails point leader Kyle Busch by 101 markers.
Allgaier recorded the first and second-fastest times, respectively, in the dual Nationwide Series practice sessions at Texas Motor Speedway. Friday afternoon's time trial session saw cloud cover come and go over the 1.5-mile speedway, which helped some drivers and hindered others in their qualifying attempts. Unfortunately, Allgaier was one that suffered as the clouds vanished from the sky, creating a slick track surface, which resulted in a lap of 29.442 seconds at an average speed of 183.441 mph, placing him 18th on the starting grid.
Gray skies and rain showers played havoc with Saturday's schedule, forcing the cancellation of both Cup Series practices. Inclement weather continued all afternoon and into Sunday, forcing NASCAR to postpone the start of both the Nationwide and Cup Series races until Monday afternoon.
Once racing action finally got underway, Allgaier quickly worked his way inside the top 15 by the conclusion of the first lap. It took just 17 more circuits before the Verizon Dodge broke inside the top 10. Allgaier struggled with a tight condition over the first half of the race, but crew chief Chad Walter made adjustments that helped Allgaier maintain his position.
Allgaier ran as high as fifth before coming to pit road for a scheduled green-flag pit stop at lap 131. When the cycle of stops completed, Allgaier ran in the eighth position. A caution flag at lap 167 gave the Verizon crew one final chance to fine tune their Dodge for the closing laps. Allgaier restarted the race in the 11th position, but the No. 38 car of Jason Leffler began blocking the cars behind him in an attempt to maintain his position, allowing the leaders to break away. As the field worked their way around the slower car, the top 10 running cars were strung out, leaving little competition over the final laps, with Allgaier 11th when the checkered flag waved.
"Our day was OK," said Allgaier. "We made some adjustments to make our Verizon Dodge a little better, but we never made it great. It was a little too tight on one run, and then a little loose on the next. We thought that we'd be right in the middle on that last run, and just didn't hit it. There were some guys that only took two tires on the last caution and one of them decided that it would be fun to block. We ended up losing some spots, and realistically should have been running fifth or sixth at that point. It is what it is. We'll pick up and move to Talladega and go for a win there for sure."
Next weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the Aaron's 312.