Justin Allgaier: Little Gator" Set to Turn Heads in the Nationwide Series

David PhillipsAnalyst IJanuary 21, 2009

Hey guys I love pulling for the underdog or little guys or even the unknown in NASCAR and I'm definitely buying me a Verizon Nationwide hat!

The 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Justin Allgaier won't be running in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona, but the Riverton, Illinois driver will be there at the "World Center of Racing" in full force nonetheless.

Penske Racing announced Monday that Allgaier will run the full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2009 with Verizon Wireless as its title sponsor on the 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger.

Allgaier made four Nationwide Series starts for Penske Racing in 2008 after joining the team in late September. The 22-year-old driver is looking to lead the team to a breakout season, beginning next month in Daytona.

"Penske Racing enjoyed a productive, winning relationship with Alltel over the last decade," said Roger Penske, Chairman of Penske Racing. "We look forward to building on that solid foundation and in sharing many future successes with our new partner, Verizon Wireless."(Arca Motorsports)

In 2008 he ran a full ARCA/REMAX Series season (21 races), wins six races (Salem Speedway, Cayuga Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Talladega Superspeedway, Toledo Speedway), 14 top-5, 16 top-10 finishes, one pole position.

Using a Penske Racing engine, wins in a dramatic last-lap pass of Joey Logano. At season finale in Toledo, in third place in the championship. After the top two drivers take each other out, wins the race and his first ARCA championship.

Joins Penske racing on September 17, makes NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway (Concord, N.C.) in October—starts 14th, finishes 34th. Runs three more Nationwide Series events in 2008—Texas Motor Speedway (starts 13th, finishes 21st), Phoenix International Raceway (starts 20th, finishes 11th) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (starts 26th, finishes 28th ). Runs one NASCAR Craftsman Truck race in Kentucky (starts 34th, finishes 24th). Runs one UMP Late Model event at Farmer City Speedway, wins two of four midget events entered (Macon Speedway, DuQuoin State Fairgrounds). Runs at the 2008 Chili Bowl, finishes 11th in the F Main event. (Penske Motorsports)

Justin's nickname is "Little Gator." He started racing at age 12 he is a five-time quarter midgit champion and has over 100 wins. As I predicted in my Nationwide preview I predicted Justin to win four races now announced that he will run a full season I stand behind it 100 percent. Watch out David Streeme, "The Gator" may be shooting for your job in 2010 or Penske may expand to a three-car team they definitely dont need to lose this guy.

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