News & Media


Allgaier busy at track even on off weekend

June 13, 2012, Justin Allgaier, Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com

So much for a weekend off.

I think I had just as much going on this past week and weekend as I do on a normal race weekend -- well, except for maybe the actual racing part. With the Nationwide off week, I had the opportunity to go up to Eldora Speedway to race in the Eighth Annual Prelude to the Dream. It was my third time doing it but, I promise you, it never gets old.

"It was incredible to see fans and campers lined up as far as you can see while we were pulling in [For Prelude to the Dream] -- all to come watch us race on the dirt track. "

--JUSTIN ALLGAIER

The track is owned by Tony Stewart and he does such a great job putting on the dirt event -- I can't even imagine what all goes into it. It was incredible to see fans and campers lined up as far as you can see while we were pulling in -- all to come watch us race on the dirt track. I've got to thank all the guys at Raymond Childress Racing for bringing me a great car and working so hard all night. We struggled a little bit early on, but by the end of the night I had found a pretty good line on the track and we were able to get a 10th-place finish.

The best part about that is that the sponsor of the race, Feed the Children, is sending a truck full of food to the city of my choice, as well as all the other guys who finished in the top 10. What an awesome deal. I'm hoping we're going to be able to do something with them later on in the season when we are in Kentucky, as they are also the sponsor of the Nationwide race that weekend.

Since I can't seem to stay away from the track, I went down to Texas Motor Speedway to watch our three truck teams on Friday night. It looked there for a while like James (Buescher) was going to be able to get one at Turner Motorsports' home track. Hopefully we will have another shot when we all go back there in the fall. It would be really great to get Steve and Sandra from Turner a win there. I was also in town to watch Sierra Brandt make her debut in a bandolero car. She really did an amazing job, finishing sixth in her first time in the car and at the track. I think we have another racer on our hands in the Brandt family.

Well, this starts a really busy week for me. I actually flew back to Illinois after being in Texas for the weekend and will be staying through the week until we head up to Michigan for the race weekend beginning on Thursday. On Tuesday, I'm heading to the Illinois State Future Farmers of America Convention in downtown Springfield. There will be an estimated 2,000 students, parents and advisors in attendance and I hope to meet as many of them as I can. At night, I'll be heading to Macon Speedway for NASCAR Night of Stars 2, racing my dirt modified car again. We've had a couple of good runs the past few times out and I'm hopeful we can get the win on Tuesday night, especially with a bunch of BRANDT folks there to cheer me on.

I'm really quite excited to get up to Michigan, just based on how well we raced at Auto Club Speedway. The two tracks are really very similar, and so I think we have a great shot at having a good weekend up there. We were finally able to get our first top-five finish of the season in Dover two weeks ago, and I'd really like to keep that momentum going.

The track up in Michigan was repaved since the last time we were there and I'm excited to see what the new surface is like. Fortunately, NASCAR is giving us an extra practice session on Friday morning so we'll hopefully have plenty of time to see what our cars can do on it. We also have an autograph session on Friday afternoon after all of the practices. and it'll be great to get out and meet with some of the fans. NASCAR had done a great job promoting those sessions, and it's always awesome for us to pull up to them and see a ton of fans waiting to see us all.

Well, I'm looking forward to a fun and busy week in Illinois followed by a great finish in Michigan this weekend. Thanks for checking in this week guys, and I hope to see y'all out at the track!

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.