Willie Allen Finishes 6th at Talladega, Claims Rookie of the Year Points Lead Talladega, AL - Willie Allen may be a rookie, but he certainly didn't drive like one this past weekend during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Mountain Dew 250 at ...
Willie Allen Finishes 6th at Talladega, Claims Rookie of the Year Points Lead
Talladega, AL - Willie Allen may be a rookie, but he certainly didn't drive like one this past weekend during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Allen scored a 6th place finish before a crowd of 80,000 at the 2.66 mile tri-oval, his best finish of the 2007 season. The results earned Allen the Raybestos Rookie of the Race Award for the third time this season. With just five races remaining, Allen now leads Tim Sauter by 4 points in a tight battle for Rookie of the Year and moves up two spots to 15th in the overall driver standings.
Allen's weekend started with a scare as the ThorSport crew prepared to roll out for qualifying on Friday. "I didn't think we were going to make it at the start of qualifying," said Allen. "I think we had a problem with the kill switch on the steering wheel and there was a wire that pulled out inside of it. The guys went and got another steering wheel to put on and we just made qualifying." Allen put the mishap behind him and qualified his #13 National Pork Board/Nashville Music City Chevy Silverado in the 16th position.
The drop of the green flag on Saturday brought the usual wild racing excitement that is expected of Talladega. Allen showed skillful driving by avoiding several incidents on the track, including a crash on Lap 74 that sent Allen through the Talladega grass. "We had a couple close calls out there. We knocked the front splitter off in the grass avoiding a crash on the front straightaway. That tightened the truck up a little bit, but it was loose prior to that. I think it actually helped us a little bit." Allen continued to battle for position by staying in the draft and running the low line of the track, a strategy that payed off by giving Allen his first Top 10 of the year.
"We had a really good truck and were able to run up front for a good portion of the race. Thanks to my crew chief Lance Hooper and all the crew for their hard work. We had good pit stops all day and David Pepper and Danny Gill did a great job of spotting for me. Thanks to my sponsors, The National Pork Board and Nashville Music City for their continued support. It feels really good to bring home a great finish for all of them."