TOP-10 FINISH FOR ALLGAIER UNDER FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS IN TEXAS
Fort Worth, Texas (April 13, 2012) – Justin Allgaier and his Brandt Racing team headed to the “Lonestar State” and Texas Motor Speedway, fresh off of a two-week break ready to make up ground after their finish in California three weeks ago. Allgaier qualified his No. 31 Chevrolet in the 16th spot for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, and the team knew they had a strong car on long runs as Allgaier had the best 10-lap average through the first practice session. Allgaier kept the Brandt Chevy in the top-10 for the majority of the 200-lap event, even making a run at the lead toward the conclusion of the race, and finished seventh for his third top-10 of the still young 2012 season. Allgaier remains ninth in the driver point standings, but the finish allowed the driver to make up ground on those in front of him.
It only took Allgaier 17 laps to break into the top-10 and he radioed back to his Jimmy Elledge-led team that the Brandt Chevy was tight in the center and loose off of the corners. Even though some of the field began green-flag pit stops at lap 46, the caution flag came out shortly thereafter on lap 49. Allgaier was scored in the eighth spot and brought the Brandt Chevy down pit road for track bar and wedge adjustments along with four fresh tires and fuel. He took the lap-52 restart in the ninth spot.
Even though he continued to stress that the handling of his car hadn’t changed much, he moved into the seventh spot when the second caution flag was shown to the field on lap 90. Elledge called for an air pressure and wedge adjustment and the Brandt team changed four tires and added fuel. On the lap-94 restart, Allgaier was scored seventh, but quickly moved into the fourth spot as he exited turn two. The caution was shown to the field as they came around to take the next lap. Allgaier remained on track through the extended caution period and restarted in fourth on lap 103.
Unfortunately, the handling of Allgaier’s car began to take its toll and the Brandt Chevy fell back as far as ninth before the team called their driver in for a green-flag pit stop on lap 144. When the stops cycled through, Allgaier was scored in seventh. The field got the red flag just after a lap-162 caution because the lights lining the inside retaining wall in turn three went out for a second time. When the problem was fixed nearly 20 minutes later, the field got the green flag with Allgaier in ninth.
The Brandt driver charged ahead, determined to get a solid finish out of the evening. When the caution flag was shown to the field one final time, Allgaier had moved into fifth position. Like many of the lead cars, Allgaier kept his Chevy on track. The final restart left the field with six circuits remaining in the event and was a wild one with three- and four-wide racing. Allgaier slid back slightly to sixth and then fought tooth and nail on the final lap with the No. 27 to keep that position. When the checkered flag fell, Allgaier crossed the line in seventh.
“We had another strong car tonight,” Allgaier said after the race. “Even though we couldn’t quite hold on to the fifth-place finish like I thought we could, it was a really great points night for this Brandt team. Just to know that we continue to bring really great equipment to the track is encouraging. We have all the pieces in place, it’s just a matter of putting them all together. If we continue to have these solid finishes though, we can work our way back towards the top of the point standings as well. We’ll head into the off weekend here and get our Richmond car ready for that.”
Next Stop: The NASCAR Nationwide Series will take next weekend off before heading to the short track in Richmond, Virginia for another Friday night race on April 27. The event will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. along with MRN radio affiliates.