Hundreds of Northeastern Supply Customers Come Away Happy after Allgaier's 5th Place Dover Finish Highlights Big Weekend
Several hundred Northeastern Supply Company customers, vendors and employees came away from the Dover International Speedway with smiles on their faces Saturday afternoon after driver Justin Allgaier and his BRANDT/Northeastern Supply race team posted a solid, 5th place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on the Monster Mile.
Northeastern Supply entertained guests at a pair of hospitality events during the race weekend and it was topped by Allgaier’s presence at both and then his tremendous effort on the race track during the running of the 5-Hour Energy 200.
Allgaier qualified the #31 BRANDT/Northeastern Supply Chevrolet 7th on the 43-car starting grid. Despite his car running tight in the corners through much of the race, Allgaier kept his foot on the throttle and early in the race was able to lead three laps – the fourth consecutive Nationwide race in which the #31 Impala sat atop the leader board for at least a lap.
The bonus points that these leads have produced for Allgaier have aided his climb up the Championship Driver’s Point’s Standing along with seven top tens and one top five finish in his last 10 starts. Justin moved into sole possession of 5th place in the point’s standing as a result and is within 28 points of 4th place Sam Hornish, Jr. after 12 of the 2012 season’s 33 scheduled races.
Justin was running 8th on lap 27 when the race’s second caution flag flew. Rather than waiting until the pre-scheduled competition caution that NASCAR had planned on lap 40 for the all the teams, Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge ordered Allgaier to pit on lap 29 for a chassis adjustment, fresh tires and fuel while most of the lead-lap cars stayed out.
When the lap 40 yellow flag was finally displayed by NASCAR, Allgaier pitted with all of the lead-lap cars in the 11th position but did so only to top off his fuel tank while most everyone else made their first tire changes of the day. It enabled Justin to exit pit road as the leader, a position he held for three laps until eventual race winner and pole sitter Joey Logano was able to get by two laps after the re-start.
Justin held his own, however, running second for a bunch of laps while turning lap times equal to or at times quicker than the leader despite still complaining of a tight race car.
A lap 115 caution ended the race’s longest green flag run, and after pitting for a track bar adjustment, fuel and fresh Good Year tires on his stop, Allgaier maintained his runner-up position on the grid when racing finally resumed on lap 118.
Just 17 laps later, after another caution flag waved, only eight cars remained on the lead lap and Elledge used the opportunity to again pit his #31 BRANDT/Northeastern Supply machine for the team’s final set of new tires and gas and now enabling Allgaier to go the remaining 65 laps without needing another visit to pit road.
The bright orange #31 managed to pick up three spots over those final laps to secure Allgaier’s first top-five finish of the season. Only the cars of winner Logano, second place Ryan Truex, third place Brian Scott and fourth place Kurt Busch proved better at the end than Justin’s hot rod.
“What a great weekend for this BRANDT/Northeastern Supply race team,” Allgaier said after the race.
“This was the best car I’ve ever unloaded with at this race track, and it just continued to be strong throughout practice, in qualifying and during the race. We’ve been really close to a solid finish a few times, and now we are just knocking on the door to that first win in 2012,” added Justin who was quite confident about his team’s chances in the race when speaking to the Northeastern Supply guests Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Adding to the good day enjoyed by Allgaier and his Turner Motorsports contingent was their move up the driver and owner point’s lists. Another sub-par finish by previous point’s leader and defending Series’ champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. who crashed early and finished a season-worst 32nd, and respective 14th and 11th place performances by Allgaier’s closest contenders in Cole Whitt and Michael Annett enhanced Justin’s 5th place posting. Justin now holds a 10-point edge on the 6th place Whitt and is 12 points better than the now 7th place Annett.
Stenhouse’s bad day also saw him supplanted as the driver point’s leader after a 4-week reign by Elliott Sadler who was again strong and finished 7th. Sadler leads Stenhouse now by 12 points and 3rd place rookie pilot Austin Dillon by only 14 tallies as the Nationwide Series teams take next weekend off before returning to action at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, June 16, for the running of the Alliance Trucking 250.
“We’ll head into this off weekend definitely carrying some momentum and these guys (the BRANDT/Northeastern Supply team) will get some well-deserved time off,” Justin stated. “I’m really proud of them, and I want to thank all of the Northeastern customers and employees for their support this weekend and throughout this season,” he ended.