14 May 2014
Allgaier to miss Sprint Showdown
HScott Motorsports' Justin Allgaier has pulled out of this weekend's Sprint Showdown exhibition event following a series of race accidents.
HScott Motorsports announced on Tuesday that they were pulling their #51 car from this weekend's Sprint Showdown event at Charlotte Motor Speedway in order for the team to regroup and to also give driver Justin Allgaier a chance to recover from the latest in a series of heavy crashes.
Allgaier was involved in the most serious accident of the night on Saturday at Kansas, when his car was hit by a spinning AJ Allmendinger. That sent him shooting through the infield crass and up the track into a hard impact with David Gilliland's car against the outside wall, leaving both men out of the race.
Fortunately no one was seriously injured, although Allgaier received a minor injury to his elbow: "I was not really sure what to expect how I was going to feel the next day," Allgaier said. "I have a little bit of a cut on my elbow, and that's it.
"I don't know what cut me,” he added. "The one good thing is we can go back and look at the car and check everything over really well and figure out what caused it.
"If that is the worst of it, I'm definitely happy," he remarked. "To be able to walk out of something like that is truly amazing."
It was the third crash in his last four races, and as well as Allgaier needing a brief break from the punishing schedule, the team itself needs to rebuild its race cars, which HScott Motorsports buys from Hendrick Motorsports.
"Having the time to rebuild inventory is so much different than the luxury of just buying new cars," Allgaier said. "We get older cars, they are not cheap, and they are not the easiest to get. If they've got a good car, they don't want to get rid of them too soon.
"With crashing a couple of weeks ago at Talladega and crashing last week at Kansas, it puts a toll on a team and this is going to give us to really hit the reset button and push through," Allgaier admitted.
The All-Star Weekend at Charlotte gives them the best opportunity to do so, as it's not part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship but is instead a stand-alone $1 million exhibition event. Allgaier said it was better for the team to skip this and focus on the following week's Coca-Cola 600 Cup race.
"For us, being a small independent team, obviously points races are the main focus," Allgaier pointed out. "I understand it, I know why we are doing it. I would much rather go and try to win the 600 then to just make it through the Showdown and just make it through the 600.
Meanwhile, David Gilliland has been cleared to race in this weekend's Sprint Showdown event after the #38 Front Row Motorsports car was involved in the same accident as Allgaier on Saturday.
The 38-year-old had looked a little dazed as he stepped from the car unaided, but a medical evaluation on Monday found him to be fit to return to race duty without any restrictions.
"Just a little sore obviously," Gilliland said of the accident. "That is one of the hardest hits I have had in a while. Hopefully it will be the hardest one for a while to come too. I am fine, though, just ready to get on with it."
This weekend's All-Star event gets underway on Friday with the Sprint Showdown, consisting of two 20-lap segments. The top two finishers along with the winner of the Fan Vote win entry into Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race alongside pre-qualified drivers consisting of Cup race winners from 2013/4, past winners of the All-Star race and previous Sprint Cup champions since 2004.
Time trials consisting of three laps and a four-tyre pit stop determine starting positions for the All-Star race which consists of four 20-lap segments divided up with the chance for optional pit stops, followed by a mandatory four-tyre stop and a final 10-lap dash to the flag.
While there are cash prizes for each of the segment leaders, it's the final fifth segment that is winner-take-all as far as the $1 million headline prize goes. Jimmie Johnson has won the last two events, and other previous winners have included Kevin Harvick (2007), Kasey Kahne (2008), Tony Stewart (2009), Kurt Busch (2010) and Carl Edwards (2011).
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