DOVER, Del. – After a career season, Justin Allgaier is facing potential elimination today at Dover International Speedway just three races into the Xfinity Series playoffs.
The JR Motorsports driver undoubtedly would be supremely disappointed by such a stunning turn of events, but he also has already experienced adversity that would help put that in perspective.
During a trip to Spain for a sponsor event at the Formula One race in Barcelona, Allgaier lost nearly 20 pounds in a few days, falling so ill he wondered if he’d be well enough to fly home.
Doctors recommended a colonoscopy, a test usually done on men older than 50. Allgaier, 32, was fortunate it turned up negative for cancer but also glad that it eliminated lingering doubts.
“Getting a colonoscopy at 32 years old is really weird,” he said on the most recent episode of the NASCAR on NBC Podcast. “You walk in and almost feel out of place. I’m going to tell you right now it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Because it took every bit of question out of my mind.
“And I tell people all the time, between family and friends, I’ve had a lot of people that have had different types of cancers, different types of diseases, things that have ultimately been life-threatening. We see Sherry Pollex every weekend and what she promotes and has gone through, but I don’t think people sometimes … they’ll talk about something whenever it doesn’t affect them. But when it affects you, you’re always a lot of times like I’m not saying a word. I’m just going to keep to myself and do my thing, it’ll go away eventually. Nothing’s wrong. I’ve lost too many people in my life to worry about how weird it’s going to be or what it looks like from the outside.”
“My thing has been if I can go and get a test, and I can get an answer, why wouldn’t you? It was weird. I felt a little out of place, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Allgaier, who is 11 points ahead of the current cutoff after winning the regular-season championship with five victories, said he hasn’t had any lingering effects since returning from Spain, and that doctors have ruled out “anything that I have to be worried about.
“There’s still some question marks, but ultimately we’ve checked off 98% of the stuff that is big-item stuff that could have been a lot worse than what it is, so I’m feeling pretty good about where I am at the moment,” he said.
During the podcast, Allgaier also discusses:
–The special helmet designed for the playoffs by his 5-year-old daughter;
–The influence of his grandfather, a D-Day veteran;
–Being miserable during his two-season stint in the Cup Series.