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SPECIAL KAYE: Live from the Top Gear 300

Justin Allgaier talks to Ricky Stenhosue Jr. after his qualifying lap. (Photo: Farah Kaye/NNSracing.com)
Justin Allgaier talks to Ricky Stenhosue Jr. after his qualifying lap. (Photo: Farah Kaye/NNSracing.com)

By Farrah Kaye
Staff Writer, NNSracing.com

Remember that whole "What's the deal with Brian Scott?" column I wrote last week?

I saw him before the race and noticed he shaved. Maybe taking off the beard should have been included in my list of reasons for lack of performance because Scott shaved the beard and - BAM! - a top-10 finish at the Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"After the month we've had - I'll take an eighth -- it feels like a win and hopefully move on to a consecutive streak here of top-10s." (Scott)

That's what I'm talking about!

I also spotted Justin Allgaier, who stayed on pit road during qualifying as long as his teammates were there, despite his 15th-place start. He waited until nearly every car was done qualifying before leaving the grid.

 

He then stopped and signed autographs for fans on the way back to the garage as well as doing interviews with any news outlet that asked.

 

Talk about team player in every aspect of the meaning!

 

In other news, Kimi Raikkonen was the most entertaining driver to listen to on the scanner. When it wasn't dead silent, he was cursing up a storm, complaining that he was "burning up" (he did not wear the proper shoes, as he didn't think they were necessary having run in the Truck race – which was at night...) and asking for water when not yelling at everyone to be quiet (hence the silence).

 

"I don't know why the car was so hot inside. It was hurting on the heels, but I couldn't really do anything. Just tried to keep my foot off the floor and just hold them up." (Raikkonen)

 

Raikkonen finished 27th, four laps down. Rumors are he will make his Cup debut at Sonoma.

 

They have wine there, right?

 

Continuing on, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the highest-finishing Nationwide regular, finishing fourth. But he wasn't alone, with Reed Sorenson finishing fifth, Steve Wallace seventh, Scott eighth, Aric Almirola ninth and Elliott Sadler tenth. In fact, in the top-20, there are only seven ineligible drivers.

 

Progress?

 

In the Rookie of the Year race, Timmy Hill finished the best in twenty-third, followed by Jennifer Jo Cobb in thirty-first and Blake Koch in thirty-fourth. Ryan Truex wasn't entered in the race and Charles Lewandoski did not qualify.

 

The points race has gotten tight, with Sadler leading Stenhouse by just one point as they head to Chicago. Sorenson isn't far behind, trailing Stenhouse by one.

 

Things should get interesting from here on out: Trevor Bayne is slated to be back in his car next week, Busch is taking the week off and Sadler is fighting to keep that lead while Stenhouse wants it more than anything. Also keep an eye out for Edwards to fight hard for a win, as he's sick of being the second-place king.