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Allgaier Captures First Nationwide Victory

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 20 2010

Steve Wallace and Colin Braun were involved in an early race wreck at Bristol on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)

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Justin Allgaier held off Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski to win the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday.

The victory was the first of Allgaier’s Nationwide Series career.

“Couldn’t be happier to be here. Unbelievable,” Allgaier said. “I hope this is the first of many.”

Keselowski, who had won the pole for the race earlier in the day, finshed second.

“I’m real proud of Justin,” Keselowski said.

Kyle Busch finished third and Carl Edwards was fourth.

Kevin Harvick finished fifth but had to dump Joey Logano on the final lap to get that position. Logano was knocked back to a 14th-place finish.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Harvick said of the punt job he put on Logano.

Logano appeared to go looking for Harvick afterward but was ushered away.

“I don’t know. I don’t understand that at all,” Logano said. “It was for fifth place, so I don’t know what he was doing. It wasn’t for the win! We ran together clean for almost the whole race and then he dumps me on the last lap. I don’t understand what he was thinking.”

Allgaier took the lead when he passed Keselowski on a restart on lap 27. Keselowski drew even with Allgaier a couple of times on the low side as the race wound down but could not get past his teammate.

“We plugged along all day,” Busch said. “We made some good changes and got the car to where it was decent. The ‘12’ (Allgaier) and the ‘22’ (Keselowski) were just too strong up front for us to contend with. We were better than the rest. We just didn’t have enough for the Penske cars today, but we’ll get some work done here. We’ve always been one of the fastest cars here at Bristol, but this time we missed out on just a little something. Maybe we’ll find it and come back here in August and get back after it.”

Penske got into the Nationwide Series on a full-time basis just last season. Allgaier finished sixth in 2009 and was named Raybestos Rookie of the Year for his efforts.

“You couldn’t ask for anything better than 1-2,” team owner Roger Penske said. “I said to Brad with about five (laps) to go, ‘Take care of ourselves here.’ That’s all that I could say. I didn’t need to have the two of them in trouble and I think once they cleared the 18 (Kyle Busch) it was up to who had the best car and I think that Justin (Allgaier) was up on the wheel, you could see it on that restart. It was a thrill for us because last year, we got into this series; Justin joined us. He’s learned a lot and is getting better and better. With Brad coming out, we have two guys that respect each other and really make the team get better.”

“They were the class of the field,” Busch said. “I have to say congratulations to Justin Allgaier, he deserved it. He went through a trying season last year. Chad Walter (Allgaier’s crew chief) and him, they deserve to win.

“Those cars (Penske) were really, really fast. It seemed like whoever could get out front just had it. Allgaier put a good move on Keselowski there in order to get by him on the restart and that seemed to be the winning move.”

A couple of ugly wrecks marked the early portion of the event.

On lap 91, Scott Wimmer and Brian Scott got together and that resulted in a spin by Colin Braun. Braun’s car was then rammed in the rear by the car of Steve Wallace. The impact launced Braun’s car into the air. Wallace’s car came to a stop underneath Brauns and a fire erupted.

Neither driver was injured.

Shortly after that, James Buescher tapped Trevor Bayne and both cars slid through the turn. Coleman Pressley spun out as he slowed behind them.

(This story will be updated shortly)

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 20 2010
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