Daytona: Justin Allgaier preview

* Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-552 in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300. PRS-552 is the same Verizon Dodge Charger that Allgaier raced last July at DIS, where the 2009 NNS Rookie of the Year recorded an ...

* Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-552 in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300. PRS-552 is the same Verizon Dodge Charger that Allgaier raced last July at DIS, where the 2009 NNS Rookie of the Year recorded an eighth-place finish.

* In addition to his two previous NNS starts at the 2.5-mile speedway, Allgaier competed in two ARCA Series races at Daytona, as he posted his best finish of second place in the 2008 season opener.

* In 35 races last season, Allgaier compiled three top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. The series' top rookie completed 6,406 of 6,715 laps (95.4 percent) and ran atop the leaderboard for 89 total laps.

* In three previous NNS starts at DIS, Penske Racing entries have recorded one top-10 finish (Allgaier, 7/09) and have completed 298 of 342 laps contested.

* In 110 total NNS starts, Penske Racing has earned nine wins with drivers Kurt Busch (two) and Ryan Newman (seven). Additionally, Penske entries have earned 15 poles (Allgaier -- one, Busch -- two, Parker Kligerman -- one, Newman -- 11), 24 top-five (Allgaier -- three, Busch -- seven, Newman -- 14) and 43 top-10 finishes (Allgaier -- 12, Busch -- 9, Newman -- 22).

* Fans will have several opportunities to meet Allgaier in Daytona. The 23-year-old Riverton, Ill., native will sign autographs on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 6 - 7:30 p.m. EST at the Verizon Wireless store located at 2296 W. International Speedway Blvd. The following day, he will sign for fans at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer from 12:30 - 1 p.m. before stopping by Verizon's V-Cast Lounge from 8 - 9:30 p.m., located at The Ocean Deck, 127 South Ocean Avenue, in Daytona Beach.

* Shaun Rinaman, catch can man, is the only native Floridian on the No. 12 Verizon Dodge team. Rinaman was born and raised in Sarasota, located about 180 miles southwest of Daytona.

Justin Allgaier on Daytona International Speedway

"When we came to Daytona for this race last year, it was the first time I'd been in a Nationwide Series restrictor-plate race. I didn't really know what to expect, and I'd never raced with many of the other drivers before. I feel like now, one year later, I've learned a lot about these cars and the other competitors as well. Racing at Daytona is very challenging because you almost have to be in the other driver's heads and know what moves they're thinking about making. You have to know where they're going to go so you can make your next move. That helped me tremendously when we came back to Daytona last July for the second race. I felt like I knew the other drivers better and had a decent idea of where they were going to go, and that really helped me. I think we can fare well this time around, and as long as we have no failures of any kind, we should be in good shape."

Crew chief Chad Walter on Daytona International Speedway

"It would be monumental to win the opening race of the season. It would boost everyone's confidence and give us a tremendous amount of momentum if we could accomplish that. We have realistic goals. We want to get out of Daytona with a top-five finish and start the year out right. We were caught up in an accident last year and that left us with a disappointing finish. We were able to rebound from that, but it means so much to start the season out with a strong result. We feel like we're capable of accomplishing that at Daytona, and if things work out in our favor, maybe we can have a shot at taking home the trophy."

-source: penske racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Justin Allgaier
Teams Team Penske