Verizon FiOS Team Produces 10th-Place Finish in Texas FT. WORTH, Tex. -- Verizon FiOS driver Justin Allgaier continues to take the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series by storm as he captured his third consecutive top-10 result Saturday, crossing the...
Verizon FiOS Team Produces 10th-Place Finish in Texas
FT. WORTH, Tex. -- Verizon FiOS driver Justin Allgaier continues to take the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series by storm as he captured his third consecutive top-10 result Saturday, crossing the finish line in the 10th spot at Texas Motor Speedway.
Allgaier started Saturday's O'Reilly 300 in 11th place but was confident he had a machine that could fight in the top-10. He spent the first 50 laps of the race struggling with a very loose handling car. Although the No. 12 Verizon FiOS Dodge was extremely loose coming off the corners, the condition was not hurting Allgaier's ability to run lap times as quick as the leaders.
Allgaier brought the No. 12 down the pit lane on lap 51, for a green flag pit stop. The team went to work changing four tires as well as filling its machine with fuel. The crew also made both an air pressure and wedge adjustment to the car hoping to improve its handling for the next run.
Allgaier radioed his team five laps later, saying the car was better but still loose under throttle. Crew chief Chad Walter assured to his driver the team would work on the car again under the next round of pit stops.
When the caution was displayed to the field for the first time on lap 65, the team started to prepare to see the Verizon FiOS Dodge on pit lane. Allgaier hit pit road three laps later for service. The team went to work putting on four fresh Goodyear tires as well as filling the car with fuel. Still striving to improve handling, the crew also made a significant chassis adjustment to the car.
The team did a fantastic job getting the Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender back out onto the racing surface as Allgaier picked up two positions in the pits. By the halfway point in the race Allgaier had his Verizon FiOS Dodge in the 11th spot, looking to break into the top-10.
When the caution flag was again displayed to the field on lap 159, crew chief Chad Walter was looking to gamble to gain valuable track position. Allgaier brought his Dodge Charger down pit lane on lap 161 to take on two right side tires only and enough fuel to get to the end of the race. Allgaier rolled back out onto the track in the second spot, but NASCAR deemed he was over the speed limit when leaving the pits. Allgaier was assessed a penalty and, as a result, he brought his car back down pit lane to get fresh left side rubber.
The 22-year-old racer knew he had his work cut out for him to get his car back into the top-10, but he showed his determination and kept battling for position. With only 10 laps left in the race, Allgaier was in the 14th spot, but he had a car as quick as the leaders.
Allgaier ran hard for the final 10 laps and got his car back into the top-10 for the third consecutive week. With a 10th-place finish, Allgaier picked up three positions in the Nationwide Series championship standings, now in fifth place, just 199 points out of first.
"(Crew chief) Chad Walter and all the guys on the Verizon FiOS Dodge team did a great job today," commented Allgaier. "We struggled with both a loose and tight racecar at different times during the race today, but they did not give up and we got our third top-10 in a row. Days like today are what separate good teams from great teams. We knew we did not have the car to win, but we did not give up on it. Chad made great calls on top of the box and the team had great pit stops. We got the best finish we could and now look to move on to Nashville."
Allgaier and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless team will look to continue their recent roll in the Music City next Saturday, April 11 as Nashville Superspeedway will host the Pepsi 300.