News & Media

In the Draft: Allgaier made the most of his time in Atlanta

September 04, 2012, Justin Allgaier, Special to NASCAR.COM,

Top-five finish and trip to Turner Broadcasting headquarters highlight trip

What's going on everyone? I hope you all had an awesome holiday weekend. After being on the move quite a bit these last few weeks, Ashley and I have kind of just relaxed for a couple of days. She hosted a bridal shower on Sunday for the fiancé of one of our guys at the house, while I went and saw The Bourne Legacy. Pretty good movie. It was a warm, muggy kind of weekend here in North Carolina, so cookouts were kind of hit or miss.

We had a pretty good time down in Atlanta over the weekend. The weekend started for me with a tour of the Turner Broadcasting headquarters in downtown Atlanta. It was amazing to see some of the things they do there and how expansive the complex is. I'm fairly certain that I only saw a portion of the campus as well. It was fun sitting on the set of their NBA show. There's a huge (and I mean massive) big screen in that area that would make most guys drool. It would make an awesome addition to any "man cave", if you could find space for it! You can see my latest "All Access" video right here.

"We kind of decided before the race in Atlanta that we were racing for pride and wins from here on out."


I was anxious to get on track on Saturday morning. I really enjoy the track at Atlanta because it's just a little bit different than the other intermediates we go to. It's just so incredibly fast. The team worked really hard during our two-hour practice session, trying a bunch of different things. It was a little difficult knowing exactly what the car would do as we practiced in the morning and would race much later in the day when the sun went down. As usual though, my guys did a good job and we were ready for the Saturday night show under the lights.

I struggled with not having much grip during the race, and the crew continued to make adjustments all night. Fortunately, we continued to race in the top 10 for the majority of the race. Then Jimmy (Elledge, crew chief) proved why he's as good as he is with the call of the night. We were in the middle of a long, green-flag run and cars started to peel off and head down pit road because everyone had to stop one more time for fuel. Jimmy told me to stay out and keep running the best laps I could. I asked if we needed to start saving fuel, and he said no. Just about three laps before we would need to turn down pit road, the caution came out. While some of the top cars had passed me under green, I was able to come in and get fresh tires and fuel, which set us up for the top-five finish. I was so proud of my team, all of them, especially coming off the awful weekend we had a Bristol just a week prior. We kind of decided before the race in Atlanta that we were racing for pride and wins from here on out. I want nothing more than to get Rick Brandt and the rest of the team to victory lane again before the season is over.

I wanted to send a quick shout out to the CEO of Triumph Motorcycles, Greg Heichelbech, and his family for being guests of BRANDT in Atlanta. We had their logo on the car and they are just a great group of people. Rick and I are both fans of their bikes. Doing my best to talk Ashley into making some space in the garage for one of my own. Stay tuned on that. Also, we had Team Latus/Factory Triumph AMA Pro Road Racer Jason DiSalvo and his wife on the pit box during the race. He races for the Triumph Factory team and is just a really great guy. I'm hopeful we get the chance to hang out again soon.

This weekend we head to Richmond, a relatively flat, .75-mile track. We didn't have the greatest finish there in the spring and so we are looking for some redemption. We're bringing back the car from our second-place finish in Iowa a few weeks ago and hoping to have some fun under the lights on Friday night.

If you're going to be out at the race in Richmond, be sure to stop by the Nationwide Series autograph session on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. I'll be making a stop at the Chevy display with my teammate Brad Sweet and fellow Chevy driver Danica Patrick at 3:15 p.m. as well. Take care guys, and thanks for checking in!

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.