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For Allgaier, Bristol win is like conquering the world

Jeff Birchfield • Mar 9, 2020 at 7:48 PM

KNOXVILLE — Justin Allgaier is ready for his luck to turn when the NASCAR Xfinity Series comes to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Cheddar’s 300 presents by Alsco on April 4.

The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet feels the track owes him a good finish. He had disappointing finishes of 30th and eighth after leading late in both BMS races in 2019.

“We had the dominant car in both races last year,” Allgaier said Monday at a press luncheon at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Knoxville. “We unfortunately broke a hub in the first race. In the fall race, we were leading and had a tire go flat with eight laps to go. It was so disappointing, but it embodies what Bristol is all about.

“It’s that place where every driver wants to win at Bristol, every driver feels he’s close to winning at Bristol and has something go wrong. When you’ve conquered Bristol, you feel like you’ve conquered the world.”

Allgaier, 33, conquered the high banks back in the 2010 spring race when the rest of the top five included Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick.

He has 11 top-10 finishes in 18 Bristol starts and won the pole for the 2013 spring race. He also scored a career-best Cup Series finish of eighth at the 2015 Food City 500.

“Bristol is my favorite race track. Obviously with my first win in the Xfinity Series and my best finish in the Cup Series, it’s near and dear to my heart,” Allgaier said. “It’s a place where it’s fun to be at. It’s difficult, a physically demanding and challenging race track. It’s one of those places you have to keep up with adjustments all day.”

An 11-year veteran and an 11-time winner in the Xfinity Series, he is coming off two of his best seasons. He scored a career-high five wins in 2018 and followed up with one win and a finish of fourth in the point standings last season.

The first part of the 2020 season has resembled much of what he’s experienced recently at Bristol. Allgaier has just one top-10 finish in the first four races of the season. Driving for car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., he finished 13th last Saturday at Phoenix after pit strategy didn’t work out his way.

“We’ve had a strong car, but not the results to show for it,” he said. “Now that the West Coast swing is over, we’re trying to get re-centered and focus on what we need to do to be fast week in and week out, and what we need to execute the finishes.”

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