Justin Allgaier and the Dove Men+Care team never gave up during Saturday afternoon’s Lakes Region 200, coming back from a lap down to score a seventh-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The team now has 13 top-10 efforts this season and Allgaier remains fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.
Qualifying seventh for the 200-lap race, Allgaier worked his way up to third by lap 3. He relayed to his team that the Dove Men+Care Chevy was tight through the center of the turns, a condition that continued to worsen as the run went on. When the green-and-white checkered flag waved on lap 45, he was scored in the eighth position and collected three valuable stage points. Under the caution, the team made a stop for four tires, fuel, and track-bar and air-pressure adjustments.
The 32-year-old driver took the green flag for Stage Two in the eighth position on lap 54. Just a few laps into the run, he reported to crew chief Jason Burdett that the No. 7 Chevrolet was lacking grip. Allgaier was running in 10th when a caution came out on lap 80 and the team took the opportunity to make another pit stop for four tires, fuel and another adjustment to try to improve the handling. Back under green, he was up to the 13th position when a wreck just ahead of him brought out another caution on lap 85. The No. 7 Camaro suffered some right-front damage in the incident and Burdett called Allgaier in so they could survey the damage and come up with a game plan for repairs. Able to continue on, Allgaier restarted in the 18th position and finished Stage Two on lap 90 in the 15th spot.
The team had to make lengthy stops under the stage-ending caution for repairs, placing them a lap down for the start of the final stage. Allgaier was trying to remain the first car one lap down in hopes of catching a quick caution, but instead a long green-flag run ensued and the leader began lapping additional cars. The team caught the break they needed though when a caution came out in the middle of green-flag pit stops for the leaders. Not having pitted yet, Allgaier was scored on the lead lap at the time of the yellow flag, and the team was back in the hunt. Coming to pit road for four tires, fuel and multiple adjustments, Allgaier got back out to restart in the 15th position on lap 174. He worked his way back up to the top 10 in a hurry and when the checkered flag waved, was scored with a seventh-place finish.
Christopher Bell took home the win ahead of Brad Keselowski and Ryan Preece, with John Hunter Nemechek and Matt Tifft rounding out the top five.
Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Dove Men+Care team
“I’m really proud of this Dove Men+Care team. They never gave up all day. For a while there I didn’t think we were going to get back on the lead lap, but we did, and we were able to make the most of it. It’s great to come out of here with a solid top-10 finish.”
No. 7 Dove Men+Care Camaro
|Laps Completed||200 of 200|
|Point Standings||5th (-48)|