Allgaier Wins At Salem
April 13, 2008 | 8:32 P.M. EST
Allgaier, with eight lead-lap machines lined up directly behind, also endured a green-white-checker finish en route to the victory, his career third series triumph and second consecutive at Salem. As a result, Allgaier became the first driver to win back-to-back at Salem since Shelby Howard swept both races in 2003.
"Wow that was fun," said Allgaier. "Kenny battled us all night. It felt like I followed him forever. We were out of tires with 20 to go. He (Schrader) pitted to get his last set with 15 to go. He was right on my bumper; he was fast but he just couldn't get a run on us. I can't tell you how much this means to me. To win this race, holding off Kenny Schrader; I mean, the guy's my hero. I can't tell you how much I look up to him. He helped get me my start in racing. And to be the first driver to win back-to-back since Shelby Howard is really something."
Schrader, on fresher tires, pressured the eventual winner continuously during the last 20 laps but could not find a way around Allgaier, who led the final 36 circuits.
"It wasn't like we weren't trying," said Schrader. "We wanted the win as much as Justin did. But it was a pretty good weekend overall for the Federated Auto Parts Dodge crew; I'll take it. And I couldn't be happier for the Allgaier's. They're a first-class family; I've known them a long time. Justin earned it today; he's one heck of a good racer. Looking forward to running Rockingham and Toledo."
Matt Carter, in Larry Clement's no. 46 Stine Seed-Hantz Group-Pork Ford, was in the mix all afternoon and finished third after leading 60 laps. Carter's finish also earned him the SunTrust Rookie of the Race honors.
"I thought we were going to be able to have a pretty good battle going for a while there but we had to pit with about 20 to go to put a pair of right side tires on," said Carter. "We had a right rear that was starting to come apart. The Stine Seed Ford was really good and I think that our performance here today really showed everybody that this 46 car can come here and race competitively."
Eight-time Salem winner Frank Kimmel, in the no. 44 Interstate Equipment Ford, battled back to finish fourth after a few on-track skirmishes that resulted in unscheduled pit stops.
Formula 1 veteran Scott Speed, making his career-first short-track start, steered the Red Bull Toyota to the finish in fifth, a career series best for the Manteca, California driver.
The race, delayed three hours for rain, started under caution with SIM Factory Pole Award winner Schrader scored as the leader for the first 15 laps. However, as soon as the race went green on lap 16 Carter slipped by to take the lead. Carter and Schrader swapped the lead back and forth before both pitted for scheduled pit stops under caution just past the halfway point. Back under green, Speed passed Carter for lead before Schrader regained control of the top-spot on lap 152. With Allgaier right behind, Schrader got pinned in traffic allowing Allgaier to make his move for the lead on lap 169, one he would not relinquish. Schrader, under caution, pitted one more time for right-side tires and worked his way back to the front to challenge for the win.
A multi-car pile-up off turn two on lap 29 ended the day for several including James Hylton, Josh Clemons, Michael Phelps and Tayler Malsam. Brett Hudson, Jake Francis, Ken Butler III and Dexter Bean were also involved but were able to return to competition. There were no injuries.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., in the no. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, finished a career-best sixth with series rookie John Wes Townley trailing in seventh in the Zaxby's-SBS-BB&T Ford, also a career-best finish. Bryan Silas finished eighth in the Nortrax-Fast Track Driving School Chevrolet. Terry Jones finished ninth in his own Jones Group Dodge, the last driver to finish on the lead lap. Veteran Norm Benning earned the Casite Hard Charger Award for his 10th place finish after starting 26th.
Schrader, who led 100 laps, was also the Klotz Half Way Leader and posted the Accel Fastest Lap of the Race. Crew chief Donnie Richeson earned Cometic Crew Chief of the race honors.
The next action for the ARCA RE/MAX Series will be the Prairie Meadows 250 at Iowa Speedway Saturday afternoon, April 18th.