Final races at HScott Motorsports ‘bittersweet’ for Justin Allgaier

4 Comments

FORT WORTH, Texas – Justin Allgaier‘s first Sprint Cup race was at his home track of Chicagoland Speedway in September 2013.

But the driver didn’t fully come to terms with being in NASCAR’s top series until February of the following year. It came when he was introduced to fans on the frontstrech of Daytona International Speedway prior to the Daytona 500.

The native of Riverton, Ill., about to start his first full season for HScott Motorsports, thought to himself, “This might be the coolest thing I’ve ever been able to accomplish.”

Two years and almost 75 starts later, the 29-year-old driver is nearing the end of his tenure with HScott Motorsports. Allgaier calls his last two starts in the No. 51 Chevrolet before he departs for the Xfinity Series and the No. 7 owned by JR Motorsports as “bittersweet.”

“Obviously, getting to this level is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 5,” Allgaier told NASCAR Talk at Texas Motor Speedway last Saturday. “I was fortunate two years ago to have that opportunity and to really grow a race team.”

Allgaier got his chance after three full seasons in ARCA and five in the Xfinity Series, where he earned three wins and 29 top-five finishes. Then came the opportunity to drive in the Sprint Cup Series for Harry Scott Jr.

“When I started at HScott Motorsports, technically almost three years ago now, it was in its infancy,” Allgaier said of the program that evolved out of the ashes of Phoenix Racing. “We didn’t have cars, we didn’t have equipment, we didn’t have all the things that we needed to go do this.”

Now the team is to a place where it’s a prime spot for Clint Bowyer to spend a year before moving on to Stewart-Haas Racing to replace Tony Stewart in the No. 14 in 2017.

“We’ve grown it into what I feel like is a really successful, strong little team,” Allgaier said. “Granted there’s always room to grow, there’s always thing you can do to be better. But it was cool to see the growth. I would say for me, these final three, there’s been no regrets to this point and you go out there and give it 110 percent for these final three and have a lot of fun with it.”

Through 73 starts, Allgaier has earned only one top-10 finish. That came earlier in 2015 at Bristol Motor Speedway when he drove the No. 51 to eighth at the half-mile track.

But what made the night even more memorable was who he made the race difficult for: Jeff Gordon.

“He was behind me for about 150 laps and it was him, myself and Jimmie Johnson and we literally were racing each other like crazy for 150 laps,” Allgaier said. “It was cool because you have a guy like that that you respect and runs up front and then him to not be able to pass you, it’s like, ‘alright, I’m doing my job well today. That’s a good thing.'”

At the end of the season, Gordon will retire from the Sprint Cup and Allgaier will take a step down to Xfinity. But Allgaier doesn’t view it from that perspective at this point in a career that’s included seven years in NASCAR’s top two division.

“I don’t necessarily look at it as a step down, I look at it as a step in the right direction,” Allgaier said.

Part of what makes driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s Xfinity team right for Allgaier is knowing how competitive it’s been. It won the 2014 title with Chase Elliott and this year has five wins and Elliott is second in the points standings.

“Let’s be honest, it would be like here in the Sprint Cup series getting the opportunity to go drive the 48 or the 24 or the 88,” Allgaier said. “It puts you in that elite group over there that you’re able to go out there, know you can compete and win races.”

But knowing he’ll have a team to call home next year doesn’t mean Allgaier is abandoning a philosophy he carries with him in every race of every season.

“You never know if the race you’re running right now could be the last one or the next one,” Allgaier said. “I always do my best to try and look ahead and say, ‘OK, if I stopped racing tomorrow, would I be satisfied with what I’ve accomplished?’ And the answer’s always yes.”

Weekend schedule for Kentucky Speedway

Leave a comment

NASCAR heads to the Bluegrass State this week for four days of racing at Kentucky Speedway.

All three national series will be in action, plus the ARCA Menards Series, for five races. The Xfinity Series will hold two races for its second doubleheader of the season.

According to wunderground.com, the forecast for the start of each race is:

Thursday Xfinity race: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees and a 20% chance of rain.

Friday Xfinity race: Scattered thunderstorms, 80 degrees and 37% chance of rain.

Saturday Truck Series race: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees and 0% chance of rain.

Sunday Cup race: Scattered thunderstorms, 84 degrees, 40% chance of rain.

Here is the full weekend schedule for Kentucky Speedway.

(All times are Eastern)

Wednesday, July 8

3:30 p.m. – Xfinity rookie meeting (electronic communication)

5 p.m. – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting (electronic communication)

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Driver motorhome parking (screening in progress)

Thursday, July 9

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Xfinity haulers enter (screening in progress)

1 – 10:30 p.m. – Xfinity garage access (screening in progress)

6 – 7:30 p.m. – Xfinity engine prime and final adjustments (pit road)

7:50 p.m. – Xfinity drivers report to cars

8 p.m. – Xfinity race No. 1; 134 laps/201 miles (FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Friday, July 10

10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Xfinity garage access (screening in progress)

Noon – ARCA driver/crew chief/spotter meeting (electronic communication)

12:30 p.m. – ARCA rookie meeting (teleconference)

1 p.m. – ARCA crew chief meeting (teleconference)

4 – 5 p.m. – ARCA haulers enter (screening in progress)

5 – 5:30 p.m. – Truck Series rookie meeting (teleconference)

5:30 p.m. – Trucks driver/crew chief meeting (electronic communication)

6 – 7:30 p.m. – Xfinity engine prime and final adjustments (pit road)

7:50 – Xfinity drivers report to cars

8 p.m. – Xfinity race No. 2; 200 laps/300 miles (FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday, July 11

7 a.m. – 2 p.m. – ARCA garage access (screening in progress)

8 – 10 a.m. – Truck series haulers enter (screening and equipment unload)

10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Truck garage access (screening in progress)

Noon – 1 p.m. – ARCA practice

2:20 p.m. – ARCA drivers report to cars

2:30 p.m. – ARCA race; 100 laps/150 miles (FS1)

4 – 5:30 p.m. – Trucks engine prime and final adjustments (garage area)

4:40 – 5:30 p.m. – ARCA haulers exit

5 p.m. – Cup driver/crew chief meeting (electronic communication)

5:30 p.m. – Cup rookie meeting (electronic communication)

5:50 p.m. – Truck drivers report to vehicles

6 p.m. – Truck race; 150 laps/225 miles (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Cup haulers enter (screening and equipment unload)

8:30 p.m. – Truck haulers exit

Sunday, July 12

7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Cup garage access (screening in progress)

12:30 – 2 p.m. – Engine prime and final adjustments on pit road

2:20 p.m. – Cup drivers report to cars

2:30 p.m. – Quaker State 400; 267 laps/400.5 miles (FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

6:30 p.m. – Cup haulers exit

Thursday night’s Xfinity race at Kentucky: Start time, forecast and more

Leave a comment

A stretch of five races in four days at Kentucky Speedway begins Thursday night with the first of two Xfinity Series races.

It will mark the second doubleheader of the year for the Xfinity Series.

Can Chase Briscoe keep up a winning pace that’s seen him win three times in the last four races (and five overall thus far in the season’s first 13 races)?

Here’s all the info you need for Thursday night’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be at 8:13 p.m by Shady Rays CEO Chris Ratterman. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:24 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 1 p.m. (teams are assigned specific times). Engine prime and final adjustments are at 6 p.m. Drivers report to their cars at 7:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 8:05 p.m by Jason Romano. The national anthem will be performed at 8:06 p.m. by Matthew Grant.

DISTANCE: The race is 134 laps (201 miles) around the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 30. Stage 2 ends on Lap 60.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Its coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, a high of 86 degrees and a 24% chance of rain predicted at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Chase Briscoe defeated Justin Haley and Noah Gragson to win on the Indianapolis road course.

LAST RACE AT KENTUCKY: Cole Custer beat Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for lineup

Starting lineup for Saturday’s Truck Series race at Kentucky

Leave a comment

Brett Moffitt will start from the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FS1) thanks to a random draw.

He will be joined on the front row by Zane Smith. In fact, the first three drivers are all from GMS Racing: Moffitt, Smith and Tyler Ankrum, who will start third.

Rounding out the top five are Christian Eckes and Austin Hill.

Click here for the starting lineup 

NASCAR Truck Series at Kentucky

Race Time: 6 p.m. ET Saturday

Track: Kentucky Speedway; Sparta, Kentucky (1.5-mile speedway)

Length: 150 laps, 225 miles

Stages: Stage 1 ends on Lap 35. Stage 2 ends on Lap 70.

TV coverage: FS1

Radio: Motor Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: Fox Sports app (subscription required); mrn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Cup race: Sunday at Kentucky (267 laps, 400.5 miles), 2:30 p.m. ET on Fox

Next Xfinity race: Thursday at Kentucky (134 laps, 201 miles), 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Starting lineup for Sunday’s Cup race at Kentucky

Leave a comment

Two-time winner Kyle Busch will start from the pole for Sunday’s Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1) thanks to a random draw.

He will be joined on the front row by Joey Logano.

The top five is completed by Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Alex Bowman.

Click here for the starting lineup

NASCAR Cup Series at Kentucky

Race Time: 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday

Track: Kentucky Speedway; Sparta, Kentucky (1.5-mile speedway)

Length: 267 laps, 400.5 miles

Stages: Stage 1 ends on Lap 80. Stage 2 ends on Lap 160.

TV coverage: FS1

Radio: Performance Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: Fox Sports app (subscription required); goprn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Xfinity race: Thursday at Kentucky (134 laps, 201 miles), 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Next Truck race: Saturday at Kentucky (150 laps, 225 miles) 6 p.m. ET on FS1

Follow @JerryBonkowski