Justin Allgaier Finishes 40th in Nationwide Daytona Opener DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 14, 2009) -- Justin Allgaier, driver of the No.12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, was optimistic about his chances for a ...
Justin Allgaier Finishes 40th in Nationwide Daytona Opener
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 14, 2009) -- Justin Allgaier, driver of the No.12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, was optimistic about his chances for a strong finish on Saturday afternoon in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway. The 22-year-old Allgaier knew the team prepared a strong car for him to race at the two-and-a-half mile superspeedway and was eager to get the season started on the right foot. After an impressive early run, unfortunately, the rising star racer saw his car collected in a multi-car crash and the damaged No. 12 had to accept a 40th-place finish.
Allgaier lined up for the 300-mile event in the 32nd position, but was immediately on the move to the front. By lap 10, he had moved inside the top-20 and was charging towards the lead pack. He radioed to crew chief Chad Walter, explaining the car was getting looser as the run was progressing and the team needed to make an adjustment on the first pit stop.
When the caution flag was displayed to the field for the first time on lap 26 for debris on the track, the team prepared to see the Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger on pit lane. Allgaier brought the machine into the pit stall on lap 28 for service. The Penske Racing crew changed four tires and filled the black No. 12 with racing fuel. The team also made a slight wedge adjustment to the car in hopes of correcting the loose condition the rookie driver was experiencing. The team did a great job getting Allgaier back on to the racing surface, picking up five spots on pit road.
When the green flag was again displayed to the field on lap 31, Allgaier found himself in the 16th position. He was determined to get up to the front and battle with the leaders, but knew he had to bide his time and be patient. Allgaier remained in the top-15 for the next 20 laps. He explained to the crew the car was now a bit tight in the exit of the turns and needed another adjustment on the next round of pit stops.
Allgaier was just preparing to make his move into the top-10 when he was caught up in the "big one" going into turn 3. The young Illinois racer made every effort to avoid the multi-car wreck but ran out of racing room. The team did a tremendous job repairing the car for Allgaier to go back out on the track and pick up valuable points for the season-long championship as he came home in 40th position.
"Today was tough," comment Allgaier. "We were out there taking care of our car and were just a victim of circumstance. The Verizon Wireless Dodge team did a great job today both on pit road and getting our car repaired in the garage. I just hate it for the guys. They work so hard to get these cars to go fast and to get caught up in a wreck is discouraging. We knew we had a fast car and were just waiting for the final 20 laps to make our run to the front. I am ready for next weekend in California."
Allgaier and the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger team return to racing action next Saturday at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.