Allgaier Answers Road Course Call; Wins at New Jersey Motorsports Park in First Start From ARCA PR
No Problems With Left and Right Hand Turns for Allgaier in Madden Road Course Run
The combination of a little luck, the necessary skill and the right pit road strategy turned Justin Allgaier into a road course winner Sunday afternoon in the inaugural Loud Energy Drink 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Allgaier, making his career-first road course start, was in the lead when the rain started falling prompting ARCA RE/MAX Series officials to wave the checkered flag 19 laps shy of the scheduled 67-lap, 150-mile distance.
Allgaier, out of sequence with many of the front-runners, had already made his pit stop for fuel earlier than most and found himself the leader just in time for the rain to fall.
"I've got to hand this one to my crew chief Jim Pohlman," said Allgaier. "He was up late last night rewinding the race in his mind so he knew exactly when we needed to pit for fuel and still make it to the end. As it turned out, it also put us in position to win the race. Then we got some help from Mother Nature. I would have rather won the thing under green, but we'll take it this way too.
"On Tuesday testing here it was my first time road course racing ever," added Allgaier. "Felt like I was in a John Deer tractor because I was plowing more dirt than I was on the racetrack. All in all, it's a great weekend and it was a great experience. If you look at the ARCA RE/MAX Series, we've got the most diverse array of racetracks in any series, and fortunately now we've been able to win on a dirt track, a short track, a superspeedway and on a road course, so, for us, that's really cool."
Colin Braun, who relieved Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in the Aflac Ford, charged from the tail-end to finish second. Stenhouse, still on the mend from crash in a midget car at Eldora Speedway one week ago, gave up the seat to Braun during a lap three caution period.
"I'm disappointed," said Braun. "Just the way the whole race ended up. I don't think any of the fans wanted to see the thing end in yellow. It's not really the way I'd like to have the race finish up. We definitely had something for Justin (Allgaier), but it was a good day for points. That was the goal here to try to get Ricky up in points."
The podium finish allowed Stenhouse to move to within 65 points of Scott Speed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship points race. Braun's effort also credited Stenhouse with the SunTrust Highest Finishing Rookie honors and the Accel Fastest Lap of the Race.
"I had a crash last weekend in the midget and I didn't think I was going to be 100 percent for this race so I just decided that for this race it would be best for Roush Fenway Racing for me to start it and to let Colin finish it," said Stenhouse. "He did a good job and gained us some points and that's the main thing we wanted him to do."
Speed, after running in the second position for most of the race, ran out of time before he could get back up front, and was credited with the eighth finishing position.
Tayler Malsam, who ran up front all afternoon rain or shine, finished third in the Dodge Development Dodge, tying his career-best series finish.
"I definitely like road course racing," said Malsam. "I did some Formula TR stuff so I had experience heading into this race so that really helped."
SIM Factory Pole winner Andy Lally, in the TRG Motorsports Chevrolet, finished fourth after leading the most laps. Brian Scott finished fifth in the Albertsons Chevrolet.
Lally led from the onset and pulled out to a 10-length lead over Speed and Parker Kligerman. Lally continued to stretch his lead until giving it up for pit road service on lap 30, during which time Dexter Bean inherited the top-spot. Then Allgaier took the lead from Bean on lap 36 when Bean ducked into the pit area for service. Allgaier led the remainder of the race, including ten laps of caution for rain showers while series officials waited to see if the storms would subside.
Kligerman, in his career-first series start, finished sixth in front of James Buescher in seventh. Buescher, who started 22nd, also earned the Casite Hard Charger of the Race. Veteran Bob Schacht, making his first series start in seven seasons, finished ninth. Nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel was 10th.
Lally was also the Aaron's Lap Leader with 29 laps led while his crew chief Jon Wolfe earned the Cometic Crew Chief of the Race honors. Bean, who ended up 14th, was the Klotz Halfway Leader.
Just two races remain in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series - the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 3rd and ARCA Championship Weekend at Toledo Speedway on October 11th and 12th. For a complete schedule of each event, visit arcaracing.com.
Top-10 ARCA RE/MAX Series Points After The Loud Energy Drink 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park (9-28-08): 1) Scott Speed 4520; 2) Ricky Stenhouse Jr 4455; 3) Justin Allgaier 4300; 4) Frank Kimmel 4290; 5) Matt Carter 4270; 6) Tayler Malsam 3675; 7) Patrick Sheltra 3660; 8) John Wes Townley 3654; 9) Tom Hessert III 3640; 9) Ken Butler III 3640.
Justin Allgaier scored the win at New Jersey Motorsports Park. (ARCA / Robert Costanzo Photos)