JUSTIN ALLGAIER (No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger) YOU'RE FIFTH IN POINTS, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE TRANSITION OVER THE LAST YEAR AND RETURNING TO NASHVILLE? "I think coming off of last year, we had a great season. Being able to come out of...
JUSTIN ALLGAIER (No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger)
YOU'RE FIFTH IN POINTS, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE TRANSITION OVER THE LAST YEAR AND RETURNING TO NASHVILLE? "I think coming off of last year, we had a great season. Being able to come out of the year sixth in points and Rookie of the Year was a great season for us. Bringing Verizon in the sport as a full-time sponsor is really cool. Coming into this season, we felt like we knew some of our problems from last year. Over the winter, we sat down and tried to figure out how we could fix them. Adding a second car definitely has helped not only on our program, but Brad's as well. Last year here, we had a really good car both times that we came. Unfortunately, we had mechanical failures and stupidity on my part took us out of good finishes. We came back earlier this year and had a really good run. The difference is day (this race) versus night (last race). I feel like I'm a better night racer, but so does everybody else. Hopefully we can come out of here with another good run. Unfortunately, we've had really good finishes here lately, but we've still lost points to the guys in front of us. We need to work on that and we have great a opportunity being here as a stand-alone race. It's going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we can gain some points on the guys we're racing against."
WITH SO FEW CUP DRIVERS IN THE RACE TOMORROW NIGHT, DOES THIS FEEL LIKE THE FIRST STAND-ALONE RACE? "The stand-alone races are fun, but there's still (Cup) guys that come in and run them. As we have stand-alone races, the guys that are normally here feel like we step up our game and make it even tougher on the others. There seems like there's just as much competition at these races as anywhere. It's all a matter of how comfortable you can get you car. With Brad and Carl here, it's going to be tough. They're going to be just as strong as ever. With Kyle and Kevin not being here, that definitely opens some doors. This is probably one of the races that we all want to win as a stand-alone. I'm not sure why that is; I think the trophy is the best part. That Sam Bass guitar is pretty awesome. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I think that it's going to be competitive no matter if the Cup guys are here or not."
WITH BRAD POSSIBLY NOT BEING HERE FOR PRACTICE, WILL YOU GUYS SHARE INFORMATION? "I think that's one of the coolest parts about Penske Racing, how well information flows back and forth between all the teams. Not only on the Nationwide side, but Cup teams as well. We're definitely going to work together. They're going to have Parker (Kligerman) in the car today until Brad gets here. I'm sure they'll (Keselowski) be OK. Coming off a good race here in the spring, I don't think that they'll stray too far from their setup that they had."
THERE HAS A LOT OF SUPPORT FOR THE FLOOD VICTIMS IN NASHVILLE BY THE NATIONWIDE SERIES AND NASCAR? "It's unbelievable to look at where everybody is and all the flood victims and everybody that's lost things. It's easy for us to get so wrapped up with what we do on a day-to-day basis. If we have a bad day, blown an engine or crash, you really don't sit back and think about how devastating it to lost stuff like that. We're not out there re-building a house, but as racers, if there's something that we can do, we will. We all feel for them. We want to help them any way that we can. More than anything, for them to know that we care will hopefully mean something. It doesn't fix anything or get their valuable back, but hopefully it means something."
BRAD SAYS HE PLANS ON WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP. DO YOU STILL FEEL LIKE YOU'RE A CONTENDER? "Brad's definitely done a great job this year and obviously they're doing well in the points. I think we're 256 points back which is doable. It's going to take some bad races for them (for us to catch-up). I'm not going to wish bad luck on anybody because the minute you do, it turns around on yourself. We kind of had our bad luck a few races. Some stupid stuff happened and it seems like everybody has to go through it at some point in the year. Hopefully, if they do have that bad luck, we can capitalize and gain some of those points back."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SAM BASS GUITAR AS A TROPHY? "It's custom done by Sam Bass. All of us respect Sam's work. We see it a lot. To see how much stuff (Bass) does, whether it's for a cover of the program or for the guitar. When you look at trophies, there are some really significant ones that we get in our sport, especially in the Nationwide Series. When you get one that's different, it is really cool to embrace that and to enjoy it. This is a stand-alone race and if the statistics are right, this is the best for first-time winners. That gives a lot of people more hope to win a race and I think the trophy is tied into that for sure."
-source: dodge motorsports