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NASCAR Cup Charlotte

Allgaier "the lucky one" as Larson's standby driver for Coke 600

Justin Allgaier says he’s honored to have any role in Kyle Larson’s attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports, BRANDT Heritage Chevrolet Camaro

What contribution Allgaier ultimately makes remains up in the air as it will be dictated by weather conditions in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Larson, the fifth driver to attempt to run both marquee events on the same day, will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday for NASCAR Cup practice and qualifying.

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

That’s leaves Allgaier’s final opportunity as a fill-in for Larson in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is if Larson is unable to make it to Charlotte when the Coke 600 gets underway shortly after 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

“Obviously, their goal is that they won’t need me,” Allgaier said. “It’s been really, really cool to see the kind of preparation that they have and where they’re at with everything.

“How cool it is that what Kyle is trying to accomplish this weekend, right? I’ve been a huge fan of guys trying to double in the past, whether it be Tony [Stewart] or John Andretti or Robby [Gordon].

“I’ve sat through the meetings and tried to understand their thought process on how they’re going to accomplish everything. If I know one thing with Hendrick Motorsports is that every ‘I’ is dotted, and every ‘T’ is crossed usually, and this week has been no different than that.”

Weather dilemma 

As of Friday afternoon, the most likely scenario for the weekend is an unexpected one.

The forecast for Sunday at Indianapolis looks bleak, with an 80 percent chance of rain most of the day (the track does not have lights). The Coke 600 at Charlotte has no such issues. That leaves a real possibility Larson could indeed still run both races but on separate days.

Allgaier, though, could still play a role.

If Larson’s involvement in the 500 runs long – perhaps becomes of a delayed start due to weather – Allgaier would start the 600 in the No. 5.

If so, the Xfinity veteran has plenty of Cup experience, both on the track, and with Hendrick Motorsports, as team owner Rick Hendrick is part-owner of JRM.

Allgaier, 37, has made 81 Cup starts in his career, with one top-10 finish. He’s made four starts on the oval track at Charlotte, two of which came in the 600.

Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports, Jarrett Logistics Chevrolet Camaro

Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports, Jarrett Logistics Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

With Larson able to participate in Saturday’s practice and qualifying that leaves Allgaier with no seat time in the No. 5, should he get the call to run.

“The way that it’s going to work out with a kind of abbreviated practice, there is no option to get in the car,” he said. “We spent a lot of time trying to (practice) if we have to make a driver swap ready to go.

“With the ability to do the wheel force testing and do some of the work for Chevrolet and what I’ve done in the past with Hendrick as far as just knowing where their set-ups are and what their cars drive like, it should be a kind of a plug-and-play situation.

“Everything that I would sit in or that I would drive would be very, very relevant to what I would have to get in if I was to get into Kyle’s car.”

Regardless of whether he ultimately gets in Larson’s car, Allgaier said he appreciates being part of what may turn out to be an iconic motorsports moment.

“The weather is not playing as nice as we’d like for it to in the forecast for the double right now but they’ve got all the plans in place for both sides of it,” he said.

“You know, I just get to be the lucky one that gets to be a part of what could potentially go down as kind of a cool spot in history.”

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