Allgaier hopes for better luck in Xfinity race at Monster Mile

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier says he loves racing at Dover International Speedway.

But the Monster Mile hasn’t shown Allgaier much love in return throughout his career.

“Unfortunately I’ve had a lot of real good races there get ended by bad luck,” Allagaier said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve had a lot of dumb things happen to me there, like a caution comes out during green flag pit stops or a crash happens right in front, it’s just something crazy always happens. I’m hopeful we can get all the bad luck out of the way.”

Entering 2016, Allgaier had only one top-five finish in 10 career XFINITY Series races at Dover.

His luck might be getting better, though. In his first XFINITY race at Dover since 2013, Allgaier drove his new No. 7 JR Motorsports team to a fourth-place finish and won the pole in the spring race. He enters Saturday’s Driver Sober 200 in sixth in the XFINITY Series Chase playoff point standings.

This is the first year the XFINITY Series has used the Chase system to decide its champion. It’s the same format employed in the Sprint Cup Series.

Allgaier said he credits NASCAR for making the switch, thinking it will give more exposure to the full-time XFINITY racers and bring more excitement to the racetrack.

“I think it was a great idea,” Allgaier said “The slogan of our series is ‘Names are made here,’ and that’s what we want to do. We’ve got a lot of young guys who are talented and a good mixture of veterans. It’s a unique scenario and it’s a great way to showcase the guys who battle in this series every week.”

Dover is the second race of the first round of the Chase before the field is whittled down to 12 after Charlotte next weekend. Allgaier finished ninth in the first chase at Kentucky last week. His JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler won the race, which clinches advance to the next round.
Whoever wins at Dover also automatically moves on, so Allgaier is expecting some aggressive racing up front.

“The final few races of our regular season got pretty dicey,” he said. “I don’t see it being any less crazy and equally exciting. The key to this format is winning races and I think that will make these final races nothing short of spectacular.”

Allgaier doesn’t have a win yet since he signed with JR Motorsports but has finished in the top-10 in 10 of the last 11 races. He has finished in the top-10 in 81 percent of the XFINITY races this year.

“That would easily be a championship season or at least close to it in a different format,” Allgaier said. “Honestly for us, it’s just a matter of getting over the hump. Since the points reset, that makes you stay on your toes and you know you’ve got to be on your A-game. I think we’ve got a lot better shot at it than we did 15-20 weeks ago.”

Qualifying for the XFINITY Series race will begin at 11:45 a.m. Saturday morning. The green flag for the Drive Sober 200 will drop at 3 p.m.

“I love Dover the racing is great the Delaware-Pennsylvania area is full with passionate race fans,” Allgaier said. “I think with the Chase, for us, it’s an unknown on the schedule. That’s one race that can create havoc and some problems.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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