News & Media


In the Draft: Allgaier goes to the booth

May 15, 2012, Justin Allgaier, Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com

Justin Allgaier credits spotter Eddie D'Hondt with helping him avoid the big wreck to finish in the top 10 at Talladega. (Autostock)

Driver takes a break from the car to analyze what's happening on the track

How is everyone doing? I feel like I say this every time I write a blog entry, but man, I've been busy the past two weeks.

After putting Richmond in the rearview, it was time to get ready for Talladega. While I know my wife would strongly disagree, I kind of like the excitement and unknowns that a restrictor-plate track brings. I know it makes her awfully nervous. It is a great race for the fans and a big challenge for us as drivers. I definitely could not have made it through that weekend without the help of my spotter, Eddie D'Hondt, especially with that big wreck at the end of the race. He truly was my "eyes in the sky," and you really need a good pair of eyes on the spotters stand at Talladega. So we came away with another top-10 finish, and my guys enjoyed the spoils at a team lunch on Monday [May 7].

"While I know my wife would strongly disagree, I kind of like the excitement and unknowns that a restrictor-plate track brings."

--JUSTIN ALLGAIER

Something else I really enjoyed at Talladega was the chance I had to join SPEED announcers Phil Parsons and Rick Allen in the broadcast booth to help them call the ARCA Race. What an experience! Thanks to everyone for their comments and kind words about it on Twitter. Thanks also to SPEED for giving me the opportunity. There's quite a bit that goes on behind the scenes for those broadcasts, and it was cool to be able to see and learn about all of it. I truly hope I have the chance to do something like that again.

* Video: Allgaier in the broadcast booth

I was so excited to get to Darlington this past weekend. Ashley and I packed up the motorcoach and made the short drive across the state line. Before we got on track on Friday, we had a really nice cookout at the coach for the guys. My shock specialist took control of the grill and made some really great burgers for everyone. We just all hung out, played some cornhole and shared a lot of laughs. Some of those games got pretty competitive, too. It was a cool night and something I think we will have to do again. There was definitely talk of some cornhole rematches. I enjoy that all my guys get along so well, both away from and at the track. It seems like we have a really special group.

Unfortunately, the "Lady In Black" wasn't as kind to us as we were hoping. While I didn't really get my "Darlington Stripe," we couldn't ever get the handling to cooperate at both ends of the race track. I fought being tight all night. On the flip side of things, we did lead a handful of laps and did gain some points in the standings. Just have to keep staying positive and working hard, and those finishes are bound to come sooner or later.

I'm really excited to get out to Iowa. It's fun for us Nationwide Series-only regulars to be the featured event during the weekend and race on a Sunday for a change. Not only that, but the fans in Iowa are so great to us. Every time we have been there, the stands are packed to the gills. I'm pretty sure they had to add more stands before our first race in 2009, and they have been filled ever since. We've also had some of the Cup guys taking over Victory Lane the past few weeks, and I think we need to change that back to series-only regulars. I'd love to be the driver that does that this weekend.

Well, I hope to see a lot of you out in Iowa during the weekend. There's an autograph session at the track on Saturday, and everyone who's coming out should head out and say hello. I'm stopping in Illinois for a few days before heading out there to do some dirt racing, which will be a ton of fun. I love the chance to get back to my roots and go to some of the local dirt tracks, especially at home. I can't wait.

In the Draft with Justin Allgaier is a twice-monthly blog and the opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. Follow him and the No. 31 BRANDT Racing team on Twitter: @J_Allgaier, @BrandtRacing or @No31TurnerNNS.

%>