Allgaier Holds off Speed at Pocono; Earns Career-First Superspeedway Victory LONG POND PA (8-2-08) -- From open wheel cars to stock cars, Justin Allgaier had won on short-tracks all across the nation, but never on a superspeedway. That all ...
Allgaier Holds off Speed at Pocono; Earns Career-First Superspeedway Victory
LONG POND PA (8-2-08) -- From open wheel cars to stock cars, Justin Allgaier had won on short-tracks all across the nation, but never on a superspeedway. That all changed Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway where the Springfield, Illinois driver held off Scott Speed in the closing laps of the Pennsylvania 200 to earn his fifth career ARCA RE/MAX Series victory, and first ever on a superspeedway.
"Definitely by far this is the biggest race of my career," said Allgaier. "Scott [Speed] is extremely good on restarts and to be honest on the last restart I was sweating bullets there because I knew he was going to be very good. I think Scott is looking probably at the big picture. He's thinking about points. He drove me as clean as anyone can. It was a great day. This is my favorite track on the circuit."
Speed, in the Red Bull Toyota, got within a length of Allgaier in the tunnel turn on the final lap, but fell back to three lengths at the final stripe, finishing second.
"It was great," said Speed. "Honestly, I'm happy for him [Justin Allgaier] to win one. He's a great kid and certainly it's not as easy for him to run all of these races as it is for me. He had a great run. I am pretty confident we have more horsepower than him. We had a very good battle."
Speed, who earned the SIM Factory Pole Award the day before, also moved into first place in national championship points.
"If we don't have any bad luck, any failures, should be good with regard to points," said Speed. "I could care less if I win or finish second. It's definitely about the points. To finish second is a non-issue. To take the points lead by how much we have is huge."
Speed was also the Aaron's Lap Leader with the most laps led (35) and earned the SunTrust Highest Finishing Rookie honors.
Chase Miller finished third after starting 29th in the Verizon Wireless-Motorola Dodge, earning the Casite Hard Charger Award.
"This is one of my favorite race tracks," said Miller."Verizon Wireless and Motorola have a lot of people up here and they knew I liked this racetrack so it just kind of fit. We blew a motor in the practice session on Friday and those guys on the team really busted their butts and it turned it around for us. It's cool to come and run ARCA and learn from some of these guys. I can come and learn from them just as much as I can from some of these Nationwide guys."
The race was delayed by one hour for early morning rain showers and then red-flagged on lap 68 of the 80-lap race for a three car wreck on the backstretch involving Dexter Bean, Brian Scott and Frank Kimmel. Scott was able to drive back to his pit for service while Bean and Kimmel, both of whom exited on their own accord, were examined in the infield care center. Bean was released while Kimmel was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Matt Carter finished fourth in the Fort Dodge Animal Health-Stine Seed Ford with Robb Brent trailing in fifth in the Orchard Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Chevrolet.
Speed led at the onset before giving it up for pit road service on lap 18. That handed the lead to Chase Mattioli, who elected to forego the early opportunity to pit. Mattioli led five circuits before DEI's Aric Almirola assumed control of the top-spot on lap 24. Almirola led four laps before Allgaier passed the Tampa, Florida driver for position on lap 28. Allgaier and Speed then swapped the lead back and forth over the next 23 laps before Almirola reasserted himself as the leader on lap 50. Almirola's lead was short-lived when Speed charged back to take control on lap 56. Speed led the next 11 laps until Allgaier took the lead for good on lap 67. Allgaier then endured the ensuing red flag and two more cautions, one of which set up a two-lap green flag dash to the checkers with 19 lead-lap cars in tow.
Allgaier also earned the Accel Fastest Lap of the Race and the Klotz Halfway Leader Award. Allgaier's crew chief Jim Pohlman was credited with the Cometic Gaskets Crew Chief of the Race Award.
Jeremy Clements charged from 26th to sixth in the final finishing order ahead of Ken Butler III, who finished seventh in the Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine Toyota. Marc Davis was eighth in the WHUR 96.3 Chevrolet. John Wes Townley finished ninth in the Zaxby's Ford. Gabi DiCarlo raced from the 23rd starting position to finish 10th in the Great Clips Toyota.
In addition to the red flag, seven cautions slowed the race for 36 laps.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who was the point leader going into Pocono, fell two positions in points after finishing 30th resulting from an accident off turn one just seven laps from the finish. Stenhouse was not injured.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series: Nashville Superspeedway
The ARCA RE/MAX Series will follow up their appearance to Pocono Raceway with more superspeedway-style action when the series makes its annual appearance to Nashville Superspeedway for the Toyota ARCA 150 on Saturday, August 9th, 2008. The race is live on SPEED beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern/3:30 p.m. Central.