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Press release: Justin Allgaier to lead Gateway fans in NASCAR Nationwide Series command to start engines

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Riverton, Ill., native Justin Allgaier waves to the fans prior to the 2009 Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway. (Photo: Bill Barrett)

Gateway International Raceway

MADISON, Ill. – The four most famous words in racing, "Drivers, Start Your Engines" have been spoken by thousands of different people in thousands of different ways over the course of NASCAR’s history. At Gateway International Raceway Saturday, July 17, there will literally be thousands of voices giving that command all at once prior to the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race as the fans have been named as the official grand marshals of the event.

Leading the fans to the command will be Riverton, Ill., native and reigning NNS Raybestos Rookie of the Year Justin Allgaier. Gateway is the favorite track of the 2007 ARCA Series champion and Allgaier said he is honored to represent both Illinois and Dodge in that role.

"It’s a pretty big honor to help give the command at Gateway," said Allgaier, who finished 11th here last year. "I’m happy that I won’t be doing it alone, it’s going to be cool to give it with all the fans. A few weeks ago, at Daytona, Bobby Labonte gave the command from his car and I thought that was a neat deal. I know all of the fans at Gateway will do a great job making sure everyone hears us, especially the ones sitting in the Allgaier section. I’m always excited to head to Gateway, my home track, but this makes it even more special."

Allgaier has raced at Gateway in the ARCA Series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and the Nationwide Series, making him one of the leading contenders for the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 victory despite the fact he’s only 24 years of age. Giving him a run for his money will be his Penske Racing teammate, Brad Keselowski, who holds the track qualifying record after earning the pole for this event in 2009. Keselowski is also racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the CampingWorld.com 200, the night before at Gateway.