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In the Draft: Allgaier disappointed at home track

October 16, 2012, Justin Allgaier, Special to NASCAR.COM,

Allgaier unable to salvage good finish after being involved in early incident

What's up everyone? I hope y'all are having a great start to the week. I'm finally getting a chance to take a breath after the hectic but good weekend here in Charlotte. I always love the Friday night race here at home because I love night races and because we all get to sleep in our own beds. Not only that, but we then have Saturday and Sunday to enjoy being around to spend time with family and friends that came to town.

We hit the ground running with two practices Thursday afternoon. The one at night was fairly important because it was the closest we'd be to race conditions. We struggled with keeping the splitter off the ground pretty much all afternoon, but finally at the end of that final practice, we hit on something good.

"The one cool thing to take away from the disappointment of the wreck was seeing my guys working their guts out trying to put the car back together."


Between those two practices, I got to help my lovely wife, Ashley, as she took part in MRO's Better Half Dash. It's a fund-raiser for the organization that puts the ladies of NASCAR in the driver's seat. They all get set up in a bandolero car and race on the 0.25-mile track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I was lucky enough to be able to spot for Ashley as she tried to take home the massive trophy they make for these ladies. Man, let me tell you, I was more nervous strapping her into her car than I've ever been for one of my races. Even though she spun early and was sent to the rear of the field, she came charging up and was getting ready to take over the second spot when she was involved in another incident in the fourth turn. Unfortunately, it took her out of contention as the brakes went out and the rear axle was bent. Even so, she had a great time and learned a ton for next year's race.

* All Access: Better Half Dash

So one of the other big events that took place this week was the launch of the BRANDT Foundation, which was celebrated by my (and Ashley's) special paint scheme. The No. 31 featured a bright pink car with purple stripes, which not only called attention to the Foundation but also raised awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness month. BRANDT is very generous with its giving, but now they have a funnel for that giving that will help more people. The mission of the foundation is to provide meaningful assistance and support to the communities, farms and families where BRANDT does business, with donations directed to charitable, education and social issues. It's an awesome thing, and I was excited to play a small part in the celebration of the foundation's beginning.

Unfortunately, our race didn't go as we had hoped it would, being involved in the incident with the No. 12 early on. The one cool thing to take away from the disappointment of the wreck was seeing my guys working their guts out trying to put the car back together. They changed a radiator and fixed heavy damage to the front and rear of the car in just over 30 laps. That's pretty incredible. That's just been the attitude with this team all year, the refusal to give up. Even though we were only able to gain one more spot the entire rest of the race, you never would have known it seeing how everyone worked together. It was a cool sight.

* Video: Miscommunication with spotters to blame for crash

On Saturday, I headed to Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama for the Barber Vintage Festival and Triumph Dealer Conference with BRANDT CEO Rick Brandt. We had an absolute blast down there. We got to hang out with the factory Triumph riders as well as their upper management and check out some of their really cool motorcycles. We also walked through a swap meet/auction and checked out some amazing vintage motorcycles. If that wasn't enough, we watched some great vintage racing as well. All in all, a really cool weekend for me.

This week is going to be another full one before heading to Kansas. Tuesday, I'm heading to Illinois, just outside St. Louis, to take part in an event for BRANDT. Then we head to Kansas first thing Thursday morning for a little testing on the new surface. Hopefully, we'll be able to learn some things with the extra track time as we prepare for the race on Saturday. We definitely have some work to do to get back into the fifth spot in the point standings. I think it's something we can handle though.

I hope everyone has a great week and weekend ahead. I'm certainly looking for a good one in Kansas. Take care, everyone!

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.