St. Louis: Justin Allgaier preview

* This Week's Verizon Dodge ... Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-017 in Saturday night's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway. This is the same Dodge Charger that Allgaier used to record his...

* This Week's Verizon Dodge ... Justin Allgaier will pilot Penske Racing chassis PRS-017 in Saturday night's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway. This is the same Dodge Charger that Allgaier used to record his first career Nationwide Series pole at Memphis Motorsports Park in October, 2009. It most recently raced at Richmond International Raceway in April, where the 2009 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year started ninth and finished 15th.

* Welcome Home, Justin ... Allgaier, a native of Riverton, Ill., grew up just over 100 miles northeast of Gateway International Raceway. He began his career racing quarter midgets in his home state at the age of five. Since then, he has claimed two poles, one win, eight top-five and 22 top-10 finishes in 57 Nationwide Series starts; two poles, eight wins, 31 top fives and 45 top 10s and the 2008 championship in 86 ARCA Series starts; and two top-25 finishes in eight Camping World Truck Series races.

* Get to the Points ... Allgaier is currently ranked fourth in the championship point standings, 454 markers behind leader and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, and 29 points behind third-place contender Kyle Busch.

* Best in Class ... Allgaier's fourth-place position in the point standings is best among full-time, Nationwide Series-only drivers. Allgaier leads fellow Nationwide-only driver Steve Wallace, currently ranked eighth, by 408 points.

* Allgaier at Gateway ... In his only previous NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Gateway International Raceway in July of 2009, Allgaier recorded an 11th-place finish.

* Start Your Engines ... Allgaier will join the race fans in attendance at Gateway International Raceway on Saturday night in giving the field the command to start their engines.

* Meet the Driver ... Fans can meet Allgaier on Friday, July 16 from 3:15 -- 4:45 p.m. when he participates in the NASCAR Nationwide Series group autograph session on pit road at Gateway International Raceway. The following day, he will sign autographs for fans at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer, located in the midway at Gateway International Raceway, from 12:45 -- 2:00 p.m. Immediately following the autograph session, he will head to the Dodge display, also located in the midway, to participate in a question and answer session from 2:05 to 2:25 p.m.

* Happy Birthday, Josh ... Jack man Josh Pech will celebrate his 23rd birthday on Wednesday, July 14.

Justin Allgaier on Gateway International Raceway

"Gateway has always been cool for me because it's the first speedway that I raced on. It has long straightaways and tight corners, and that makes it a lot of fun because you really have to drive the race track. You're only going to be good at one end of the track, and you'll have to compromise at the other. We ran pretty well at Gateway last year; we felt like we could have contended for the win but we got beat on pit strategy. The guys did a great job, it was just unfortunate that we got caught when the caution flag came out."

Justin Allgaier on racing at his home track

"I think my wife, Ashley, has about 1,200 tickets sold to Justin Allgaier fans, so I'm expecting a big cheering section. I'll be honest with you, I feel that I perform better when there's something big at stake, and having all of those people in the grandstands probably drives me that much more. I don't want to let them down. I'm a crowd pleaser; I want to make them happy. So, we'll do what we can to make sure they've got something to cheer about Saturday night."

Crew chief Chad Walter on Gateway International Raceway

"Gateway is a challenging track with very different corners at each end. It's like a paperclip in Turns 1 and 2, and has long, sweeping turns at the other end of the track. Getting our Verizon Dodge loose enough to turn in 1 and 2 while still being able to put the power down through Turns 3 and 4 is what will make our race a lot more enjoyable. This track means a lot to Justin, it's one of his favorites, so we know that he'll be up on the wheel to get a good finish for his hometown crowd."

-source: penske racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Brad Keselowski , Justin Allgaier , Steve Wallace , Kyle Busch
Teams Team Penske