In the midst of the party at Watkins Glen International that saw Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers dominate the Zippo 200, XFINITY Series regular Justin Allgaier quietly emerged with a fourth-place result.
The finish was Allgaier’s fifth top five and ninth top 10 of the season. Coming off his seventh-place finish here last season, the Riverton, Illinois native was satisfied with his afternoon.
“It was a solid day,” Allgaier said standing by his No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet post-race. “We needed a little more speed there to keep up with [race winner] Kyle [Busch] and the Penske cars. But the car was good. Pit strategy-wise, Jason Burdett [crew chief] did a great job. We were right on par with where I felt we needed to be at. Ultimately it came down to righting the ship and getting the monkey off our back if you will.
“We’ve had some bad races these past few weeks, and today we got a good finish and I feel like that’s the momentum were going to need moving forward.”
It was also Allgaier’s best finish in his last eight races following results of 32nd, 35th and 20th respectively in his last three events. Saturday’s 82-lapper came down to a good pit call, cleaner air and track position that kept the No. 7 in the top five in the third and final stage.
“Honestly, I don’t know if we picked up a whole lot of speed,” Allgaier said of the final 42-lap stage. “I think we just had really good track position. And I think today, for whatever reason, track position was so important. I think the cars lap time-wise were pretty close and that makes for great racing.
“But unfortunately it makes it hard to pass unless your car is just that much better than somebody else. It was just about managing where everybody was at and I feel like we did a good job of that. Nobody got panicked when we got behind a little bit there at one point. We just stayed with the plan and it worked out for us.”
As the summer months come to a close, the XFINITY Series will head to two more road courses in the form of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road America before the month of August ends. Last season, Allgaier finished fifth at Mid-Ohio and sixth at Road America.
“I feel good,” Allgaier said looking ahead at the road-course filled schedule. “I mean, I think the stat is 11 straight top-10 finishes here in the XFINITY series on road courses. So that’s not a bad stat [laughs].
“For me, it’s funny because I wouldn’t admit I’m good road racer,” he said. “I definitely struggle at some things, but these guys do a great job of putting a great car underneath me, and I think that’s what’s most important. You got a good car, good team, good strategy, I can somewhat fake it ’till I make it I guess if you will. Just a result of having a great team behind me.”
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