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Justin Allgaier bounces back from pit-stop problems to finish fourth at Charlotte

By Lee Montgomery
lee.montgomery@nnsracing.com

CONCORD, N.C. - Justin Allgaier again stood tall among NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars by overcoming a bad pit stop to finish fourth in the Tech-Net Auto Service 300 Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

That made Allgaier the top non-Cup driver and helped him move within eight points of Carl Edwards in the Nationwide points standings.

Allgaier's No. 12 Dodge fell off the jack during a green-flag pit stop on lap 57, causing him to fall out of the top 10. But Allgaier persevered, charging to fourth from 12th in the final 12 laps with four fresh tires.

"We did battle some adversity today, but it shows what a good crew behind you can do," Allgaier said. "We had an awesome race car today. We worked on it and got the Verizon Wireless Dodge better toward the end. We made the choice to take four tires, and I think it would have been the right choice had we not had so many cautions at the end. A top-five finish is a great day for us with the clutch problem and the adversity we had."

Allgaier was one of four cars to change four tires during a late caution as Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski stayed out, and several others took only two.

"The guys had killer pit stops," crew chief Chad Walter said. "We had a lug nut fall off on that last pit stop. Otherwise, I thought we could have come out with little better track position. We caught some cautions there at the end, which allowed us to line back up and get some restarts with four tires. I think (four tires) was the right call. Who knows if it had gone green to the end I think maybe we could have got second or maybe even battled for the lead.

"There was no question about taking four tires, none whatsoever. We didn’t have a car that was going to win without them. I’ve seen too many times where if you leave yourself out there, you’re sitting ducks. Hats off to the 18 and 22 for making it last, but I think they might have been in trouble had the last two cautions not happened."

Allgaier had finished out of the top 10 the last six races but arrested that streak at Charlotte.

"We’ve had a rough last five or six weeks," Allgaier said. "So to battle back from that adversity and to battle back from that adversity today on the pit stop, it feels good. When you’re that far back, especially on a green-flag pit stop, you think you’re day is over. It just shows what these guys do, they never give up. That’s what it takes to win races and championships. Even though we lost some points to the guys we’re racing, we could have lost a lot more."