CONCORD, N.C. – The newest NASCAR Nationwide Series winner hasn’t had much time to bask in the glow of victory this week. Penske Racing driver Justin Allgaier was back in the race car at Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday, testing a Sprint Cup car.
Allgaier scored his first win in one of NASCAR’s national series last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, a popular victory among fans and competitors.
And how has his week been since the victory?
"Short, I can tell you that," Allgaier said after Cup testing ended. "But it’s been good. I’ve had a lot of voicemails and text messages and lots of people I haven’t talked to in awhile that it was nice to hear from them again. Obviously with the test here at Charlotte, that’s taken up two days. It’s been a good week, and it’s a great time to have an off-weekend and go relax and enjoy it – but also figure out how we can go next weekend and be that much better."
Allgaier clearly isn’t living in the past, and he sure isn’t carrying an overload of confidence – at least not Wednesday. Why? Because Allgaier scraped the wall in his Cup Dodge, and he was a little bummed.
"Today was rough," Allgaier said. "Unfortunately, I ended up getting in the wall there, but I think the big part about it was a day-and-a-half worth of good testing and getting to understand these cars a little bit better. The damage was only cosmetic."
The car Allgaier drove was one of Sam Hornish Jr.’s primary cars for an upcoming race. While Allgaier was concerned with the condition of the car for his teammate, he was also grateful for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Cup car.
"It was a good test for me just getting some seat time and running some fairly competitive lap times between yesterday and today," Allgaier said. "Just feel like I’m as comfortable as I can be in the car."
Allgaier is clearly comfortable in the Nationwide car, especially after the Bristol win. He’s one of two drivers with top-10 finishes in all four races this year – points leader Carl Edwards is the other – and Allgaier is third in the standings, only 31 points out of the lead.
Both car owner Roger Penske and crew chief Chad Walter said the Bristol win would be a big confidence boost for Allgaier. Were they correct?
"I think so," Allgaier said. "It was great to have the opportunity to do, and I’m very thankful for everybody that’s involved who had the opportunity to get to victory lane. That’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time and finally was able to pull it off."