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In the Draft: Great adventures on and off track

March 06, 2012, Justin Allgaier, Special to NASCAR.COM,

Team left Phoenix wanting more, but Allgaiers celebrate sixth anniversary

How's it going, guys? I can't believe how fast two weeks go by, but here we are again with my second blog of the season! I'm actually out in Las Vegas right now; Ashley and I took some time and drove here after the race in Phoenix. We stopped at the Grand Canyon to look around a bit and celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. That place is absolutely amazing. I got to see it last year from a helicopter, which was an incredible experience, but there's something special about just walking up to it and seeing it laid out at your feet. When I stop to think about it, it's also pretty amazing how quickly six years goes by. Ashley is the love of my life and I'm looking forward to many, many more anniversaries with her!

The trip to Las Vegas was certainly enjoyable for both of us. While we're out here, we are probably going to do a little shopping, [well, maybe just Ashley], and possibly see a show. We have had the chance to see most of the Cirque de Soleil shows on previous trips, so we may go check out the Jabbawockeez. I will definitely hit up a blackjack table or two as well.

"I'm looking forward to hitting the track in Las Vegas on Friday. It's a fast mile-and-a-half that we have had success on. "


I've certainly had a busy two weeks since I last checked in. Obviously our Daytona result wasn't what we'd hoped for. The racing was pretty dicey throughout the whole race, so we were just content riding around for a bit until the race reached the 30-to-go mark. That was the point where we were going to find our partner and head to the front. Unfortunately, the "big one" doesn't really care where you are on the track and we were caught up in the first multi-car wreck of the day.

Our BRANDT team bounced back in Phoenix, even though I think we had all hoped for a better finish. I feel like we had a real solid car, but we struggled a little on hitting the handling just right. All we can do is take what we learned from that race and do our best to improve upon it this week for the next time we visit Phoenix.

Just before heading to Phoenix for the race weekend, I had the opportunity to stop first in Las Vegas for the day to attend the Golf Industry Show. The show car was all set up in their booth and I got to meet some really great people. It's amazing how far-reaching some of the stuff is that BRANDT does with all sorts of different industries. Their products help keep golf courses green and looking good! After spending time at the show, we had a nice sponsor dinner at Table 10 in the Venetian. I highly recommend it for those who are going to be in town for the race weekend. Food and service were fantastic.

We welcomed a new partner to the No. 31 Chevy this past week. The National FFA [Future Farmers of America] will be featured on the car all year long. BRANDT is working to put an "all agriculture" car on the track and they are well on their way with Trademark Nitrogen, Precision Tank & Equipment and now the National FFA.

I'm looking forward to hitting the track in Las Vegas on Friday. It's a fast mile-and-a-half that we have had success on. We finished second only to our Turner Motorsports teammate last season and I've had some top-10s as well. There's no reason why we can't go back and do that again. I know that my BRANDT team is not satisfied with our finish in Phoenix, and we are looking for bigger and better things this weekend.

Well, thanks so much for checking the blog out. I hope to continue to be able to meet more of you through my travels or at the race track. It's a blast for me to meet you all, as it's the fans who continue to allow us to do what we do every 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.