News & Media


In the Draft: Allgaier tours the Midwest

June 26, 2012, Justin Allgaier, Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Justin Allgaier and Danica Patrick talked to Chicago fans before heading to Road America. (Chicagoland Speedway)

Allgaier takes in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin before Road America race

Hey there everyone! I hope you are all having a good start to the week. I can tell you that I am really excited to be at home in North Carolina for a few days. I know Ashley is, too It seems like I've only been home for maybe two or three days since our off-weekend a few weeks back. Since then, I've spent a lot of time in Illinois doing things with BRANDT and racing the dirt modified. I had a lot of fun with that last week, finally getting to Victory Lane in Terre Haute, Ind., after starting 10th. The funny thing about that night though was that none of my family was there to see it. I had to send pictures of me with the trophy to quite a few people. It was a little disappointing, especially not having Ashley there, but I was so thankful to get that win, especially for the guys who work on the car for me.

After the race that night, I began what seemed like a two-day tour of the Midwest, making multiple trips up and down I-94 between Chicago and the Milwaukee area.

"I was really excited to finally get on track at Road America. After last season's finish there, we kind of felt like it owed us one."

--JUSTIN ALLGAIER

I did some media in preparation for the Road America race in Milwaukee on Wednesday, then headed to Chicago to have dinner with some of the great folks at Chicagoland Speedway. They showed us this really cool spot for dinner downtown. We don't always get to see bustling city life like that where we are, so it was a lot of fun.

On Thursday morning, I met up with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick to do a media and fan event for the speedway in advance of the race there in July, as well as to help unveil their cool new logo. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had a bit of a different idea, and it rained out a portion of the fan event. It was still a great morning in spite of the weather, and some really sweet ladies from BRANDT came up to say hi, which was awesome of them to do. After a quick bite to eat, we hopped in the car and headed northwest for the final time to Sheboygan, Wisc., to meet up with the team.

I was really excited to finally get on track at Road America. After last season's finish there, we kind of felt like it owed us one. The practices went well for us, and I felt really good going into qualifying on Saturday morning. We started seventh, and I think that's my best start on a road course. [Crew chief] Jimmy [Elledge] spent a lot of time with our engineer and car chief devising a strategy for the race, and we set to work on it.

Unfortunately, we had a couple setbacks throughout the race, one being my water bottles falling out of their holders and onto the floorboard of the car early in the race. If any of you were watching the broadcast, you probably saw the footage of my crew guys crawling into the car to help me get them out. Because I was belted in, I couldn't reach to the floor, which was really frustrating. Fortunately, because it's a road course, we had plenty of time to fix the issue before the rest of the field came back around. On an oval, we wouldn't have been so fortunate.

* Video: Water bottle causes problems

Later in the race, I was trying something in the braking zone of Turn 5 and the brakes locked up on me, and I went into the gravel trap. The safety crew got me out of that mess, and I could get going again. So all in all, I'd say a 10th-place finish was pretty good, all things considered. It means we have another Allgaier-sponsored team lunch for the crew, which is always a good time.

This week we're busy getting ready for Kentucky. It'll be fun to have a Friday night race and have the weekend at home when we get back. I'm going to be doing a food distribution for Feed the Children with a few other Nationwide Series drivers on Thursday afternoon. Feed the Children is an awesome organization that seeks to provide food and personal items for families. It is the title sponsor of the race, so I think it's important to bring some attention to it and the really good stuff it does for people in need.

Well, I hope everyone has a really great week, and I hope to see some of you out at the track this weekend. Thanks for checking in with me this week. Take care!

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.

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