By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
That elusive top-five for Justin Allgaier at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ended in Saturday’s Roxor 200, spoiling “The Big Three” sweep in the process.
Allgaier’s road to a personal best supremacy at the “Magic Mile” unfolded on Lap 183 when his No. 7 Brandt/Rev1 Energy Chevrolet Camaro was in excellent position of spoiling the dominance from “The Big Three,” and his target was passing championship leader Tyler Reddick.
Heading into Turn 3, Allgaier tried clearing Reddick, but the latter went for the crossover to defend his spot. It lead to both drivers battling door-to-door until the first corner when Allgaier’s long-run car proved too much for the defending champion and went on his way for an eighth top-five this season.
Despite a season plagued with struggles such as car problems and lack of winning pace, a strong third-place result in a track he’s only achieved a previous best sixth in 2010 was encouraging.
“It’s a good day,” said Allgaier. “As much as we want to go to victory lane, we need to take baby steps and we’re dong that as the playoffs are approaching.”
With a fifth in Stage 1 and a runner-up result in Stage 2, Allgaier collected the second most amount of stage points with 15, four less than race winner Christopher Bell.
Short-runs wasn’t Allgaier’s forte in the 200-lap race, considering Bell’s dominance that led to his fifth win of the season. Despite the small setback, he’s pleased with his car and the entire JR Motorsports team, who executed strong pit stops all race long and gave him a refreshing competitive car.
“We had a really good long run car, but not on the short runs. We need a little bit of short run to be able to keep up with Christopher and pull, but it’s a solid day,” Allgaier on his overall day. “We executed well and had great pit stops. Eddie (D’Hondt) did a great job as a spotter, giving me lanes that I needed to be in to really maximize the day.
“We just executed and I think that was the point of the day. We definitely had more speed than we’ve had the last month or so and that was a plus. The guys did a great job.”
Heading into next Saturday’s U.S. Celluar 250 at Iowa Speedway, Allgaier will be seeking for his second career Iowa win and snap his 26-race winless streak after scoring five victories last season.
In the spring race, he wound up in third behind Bell and Cole Custer, the same two who finished ahead of Allgaier at Loudon.