2013 marks Justin Allgaier’s fifth season of full-time competition in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He returns behind the wheel of the No. 31 Brandt Chevrolet Camaro for his third season with Turner Scott Motorsports and is poised to make a run at the championship title.
Like most modern-day NASCAR stars, Allgaier made his entry into motorsports at a young age. The Riverton, Ill., native and son of Hoosier Tire distributors and racers, Mike and Dorothy, grew up around the sport and took the wheel of a quarter midget roadster when he was five years old. He was soon nicknamed “Little Gator” for his size and ferociousness behind the wheel, climbing the ranks and collecting trophies and accolades along the way. By the age of 12, he was a five-time Quarter Midget Champion with more than 100 wins to his credit. Allgaier advanced to compete in midget and micro-sprint events, adding the UMP Late Model Series into his already busy race schedule the following year.
In 2001, Allgaier became the youngest driver at the age of 14 to advance to the A Main feature in the famed Chili Bowl, the annual midget event in Tulsa, Okla. He continued to compete in dirt late model stock cars, earning two wins and 24 top-10 finishes in 51 starts. When he turned 16, Allgaier made his debut in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driving for family friend and racing legend Ken Schrader. For the next two years, he split his time between the ARCA Racing Series, late model and midget car competition, and made the trek to New Zealand in 2004, representing the United States in the South Pacific Saloon Car Championship and earning two top-five results.
Allgaier made seven starts in the 2005 ARCA Racing Series season, earning his first
pole award setting a new track record at the Illinois State Fairgrounds dirt track, four top-five and five top-10 finishes. The United States Air Force, his sponsor at the time in the ARCA Racing Series, presented the young driver and Allgaier Motorsports the highly coveted American Spirit Award. This award is designed to recognize civilians or civilian organizations that consistently exhibit the highest principles of patriotism and service to the nation and is the Air Force Recruiting Service’s highest form of civilian recognition. Past recipients included Bob Hope, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Green Bay Packers and Gateway International Raceway. The season also marked the 19-year-old’s first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the Milwaukee Mile.
In 2006, Allgaier turned his attention to compete full time in the ARCA Racing Series,
finishing 10th in the championship point standings. He earned his first series win at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, marking the first time in the track’s long history that a local driver won a championship point race at the venue. He also competed in three Camping World Truck Series events that year as well as advancing to the A-Main feature in the 2006 Chili Bowl.
Allgaier kicked off 2007 with a third-place finish in the Chili Bowl, sharing the podium with NASCAR stars and midget racing legends Tony Stewart and J.J. Yeley. He finished fourth in the ARCA Racing Series championship point standings on the merit of one win (Salem Speedway), four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He also ran 18 UMP Late Model Series races, earning five wins, and 10 midget car events, visiting victory lane on three occasions.
In 2008, the 22-year-old experienced career breakthroughs. Allgaier won six times in the 21-race ARCA Racing Series season, also collecting 14 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. His win in the season finale at Toledo Speedway catapulted him to the 2008
ARCA Racing Series championship title. The 2008 season also marked the beginning of Allgaier’s relationship with Penske Racing. He joined their driver development program and made four Nationwide Series starts with his debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. Both Penske Racing and Allgaier made the move to full-time Nationwide Series competition for the 2009 season. The No. 12 team captured three top-five, 12 top-10 finishes and Allgaier’s first Nationwide Series pole award (Memphis Motorsports Park) to close the season sixth in the championship point standings.
Allgaier also earned Rookie of the Year honors to complete a solid freshman season in the Nationwide Series. In 2010, he returned to the seat of the No. 12 machine and earned his first career Nationwide Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway. He collected a total of eight top-five, 20 top-10 and two pole awards that season en route to a fourth-place finish in the championship point standings, the highest of the series-only drivers with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars rounding out the top six.
In 2011, Allgaier joined Turner Scott Motorsports and climbed behind the wheel of the No. 31 Brandt Chevrolet. He claimed one win (Chicagoland Speedway), six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes to round out the year with a career-best, third-place finish in the championship point standings. He returned to victory lane in 2012 at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, earning his first NASCAR win at a road course. He also collected six top-five and 19 top-10 results to finish sixth in the 2012 championship point standings.