TALLADEGA, Ala. — The front of Justin Allgaier’s car was damaged in a bizarre incident Saturday during qualifying with the driver who will take his ride next season.
Clint Bowyer, who will replace Allgaier at HScott Motorsports next year, backed into Allgaier’s car on pit road before going on to the track to make his qualifying attempt at Talladega Superspeedway.
“I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything like that,’’ Allgaier said.
Said Bowyer: “I felt terrible. You’ve got to leave pretty aggressively. As soon as I let the clutch out, it was going the wrong direction. That’s the craziest thing I’ve seen or have had happen in my life. It was in reverse.’’
Allgaier will start at the rear of the field after his crew makes repairs. Allgaier, though, wasn’t as worried about where he’ll start.
“The biggest concern is now making sure we can get our car fixed,’’ he said. “We’ve got a really, really fast car. It’s just unfortunate we’re not getting to show it right now.’’
Allgaier said some duct work was damaged.
“We’re having to fit back up the actual aluminum structure that connects the radiator to the front grille, and, obviously, that’s a pretty crucial point,’’ he said as his team continued to work on the car well after other teams had left the garage.
“I’m not sure it will be 100 percent, but I think it we can probably get it 95 percent back to where it was before. It definitely isn’t ideal by any means.’’
Adding to HScott Motorsports’ woes was that Michael Annett failed to qualify for Sunday’s race.