The 2009 season was a good, successful learning experience for 23 year old Justin Alligaier.
Allgaier recorded no wins, yet 3 top fives, 12 top tens, 1 pole, finished 6th in points and won rookie of the year.
Allgaier was very excited to win rookie of the year something that drivers before him like Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards have done, all modest successes in the Sprint Cup series.
“It feels good,” said Allgaier of capturing the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year award. “We wanted that worse than anything when the year started and we knew that was going to be a tough, tall order. There were a lot of really great race car drivers that were going for it. Just to be a part of this Raybestos rookie group and to come out on top means a lot. I know we didn’t finish where we wanted to in points, but to be sixth in points and to be Rookie of the Year really sums up how great these guys are. The Verizon Wireless guys do an awesome job week in and week out and if it hadn’t been for my rookie mistakes, we’d have probably been a lot farther up (in the standings). Thanks to Raybestos and NASCAR for giving me the opportunity to do it because it was awesome and Penske Racing and everybody that’s been involved."
Allgaier is looking forward to the 2010 knowing that he will have a better chance than ever of winning a NASCAR championship. And winning a NASCAR championship would be very improtant for this stage of his career.
With Brad Keselowski moving to Penske racing, a new nationwide team will form the 22 discount tires car, crew chief will be Paul Wolfe, this will be vital to Allgaier as he will have another car to bounce info off and on of, and having a teammate like Keselowski will be a huge asset.
Allgaier will more than likely have a chance to step into a cup car in 2010 for a possible full season in a 4th car, or in the 77 car. What would make Penske's decision for doing this easier is if Allgaier could win races, and be a serious threat at least for the championship.
Allgaier has the talent to win a championships and many races he showed it in Arca. He won 6 races in 2008 including the season finale at Toledo en route to winning the ARCA remax becoming the first driver not named Frank Kimmel to win the championship since 1999.
If the 12 can step up much like the 2 did in the cup series, then Allgaier will be a threat in 2010. He will have stiff competition most notably Carl Edwards, his teammate Keselowski, and Kelly Bires who will drive the 88 fulltime in 2010.
Allgaier learned alot in 2009 , more than he certainly thought.
“I don’t think you could put it all in a book what we’ve been able to learn this year. We’ve got a lot of notes to go into next year with. We’ll come back next year and get them. I’m just excited for the opportunity to be with these guys and go into next year and work with these guys again because they did a great job all year and I’m glad to have them as my team.”