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In the Draft: Allgaier's day goes up in smoke

October 02, 2012, Justin Allgaier, Special to NASCAR.COM,

Solid run at Dover is cut short when his tire begins to rub around Lap 130

Hey there guys. How is everyone doing? I hope you all had a great weekend and have been enjoying these first few races of the Chase. Man, yesterday's was a bit of a nail-biter at the end. To think that fuel mileage would play a role at a place like Dover is kind of crazy. It's one of those places that you'd think had the potential for some green-white-checkered finishes, but the one Sunday was no less exciting.

Speaking of Dover, we thought that we would have the chance for an exciting finish as well. After trying a few different things during the practice session on Friday, my guys formulated a plan for qualifying and the race on Saturday, and it turned out to be right on the money. We qualified second, tying my best starting spot of the season, and just missing the pole by a little over a tenth of a second. At that point you could just see everyone's spirits rise a little. We knew we had a good car and were ready to race.

"It's one thing to just not have a good day all around and finish midpack. It's another one entirely to know you have one of the top-two cars on the track and end up 30th."


After the drop of the green flag, the confidence continued to build as we led some laps and remained in the top three all afternoon. Then around Lap 130, my heart fell into my stomach somewhere when my spotter [Eddie D'Hondt] said he saw smoke from a tire rub. Not wanting to destroy the body of the car, I took it back to the garage so the guys could address the issue. After thrashing for about 35 laps, I got back out on the track. Talk about frustration beyond words. This probably ranks up there with our finish earlier in the season at California in terms of the hardest ones to swallow. It's one thing to just not have a good day all around and finish midpack. It's another one entirely to know you have one of the top-two cars on the track and end up 30th. The only thing we can do is come back to the shop, regroup and get ready for the next one. We still have five races left in this season, and that's five more chances to go to Victory Lane.

* Video: Allgaier heads to garage

Even though our day was rough in Dover, Turner Motorsports was continuing its domination of 1.5-mile tracks in the Camping World Truck Series on Saturday night in Las Vegas. A huge congratulations goes to my teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. and his guys for their very impressive win out in Sin City. That pass he made diving to the inside of the No. 88 [of Matt Crafton] on the white-flag lap was just incredible. What a move! Even in the shop, you couldn't wipe the smile off the team's faces. Such a cool thing.

Fortunately for us in the Nationwide Series, we have a much deserved weekend off this weekend. This BRANDT team -- and all the other Nationwide teams -- has been racing every weekend for the past 16 weeks straight. These guys are ready for a weekend to relax and spend time with their families. Ashley and I will be attending the wedding of two dear friends this weekend, which we're both very excited about. In addition to that, I'm sure there are some things on a "honey-do" list somewhere that I've been neglecting because of all the traveling we've done over the past few months.

I'm really excited for the upcoming Charlotte race weekend in two weeks. Not only is it fun for us to be able to race in our backyard, under the lights on a Friday night, but we have some exciting stuff coming up with BRANDT and a new project they have in the works. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say this: You will have absolutely no trouble finding me or my BRANDT Chevy on the race track in Charlotte, and there's a very good reason why. Stay tuned for more details on all of that.

I hope everyone has a great week and weekend ahead. I know that we definitely will enjoy ours. It will be interesting to see how much of a game-changer the race at Talladega will be for all those guys in the Chase. We all know that the "Big One" doesn't care much where you are in the point standings. It's going to happen regardless. But then again, isn't that why we love Talladega? Take care guys!

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.