Career-Best Finishes Fuel Allgaier, Ryan Truex

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier matched his career-high finish with a 16th-place effort last weekend at Pocono Raceway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Tying his career best wasn’t enough. After finishing 16th Sunday at Pocono Raceway, Justin Allgaier told his team on the radio: “You know what’s funny? Michigan (in June) I was pumped and here I wanted more.’’

At Michigan, 16th was about all he said his car had but not at Pocono, not after driving from his 22nd starting spot to 11th early in the race. Allgaier thought he had a top-10 car but saw those hopes fade when he was involved in the 13-car crash. Knowing what could have been left him wanting more.

He wasn’t the only driver with a notable finish at Pocono. Ryan Truex placed a career-high 20th, beating his previous best by 10 positions. Allgaier and Truex were among a number of drivers who had their best finish of the season Sunday. David Gilliland placed 17th, Travis Kvapil was 25th, Dave Blaney finished 26th, and Alex Kennedy was 28th. The quest for each is to carry that momentum into this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen International.

Certainly some were helped last weekend by the attrition at Pocono, including those collected in that crash, but Allgaier overcame damage from the Talladega-like incident to tie his best finish in 25 career NASCAR Sprint Cup starts.

As he talked to his team on the radio after the race about wanting more, one person mentioned to remember the plan.

“I never doubted the plan,’’ Allgaier said on the radio. “I was just struggling to find the forest from the trees some days.’’

The plan?

“(Owner) Harry Scott and I talked before the race and we agreed we needed to get what we could get but not overdo it, not put ourselves in a bad position,’’ said Allgaier, who saw runs at Daytona and New Hampshire last month end after accidents. “Not do anything but go out there and finish all 400 miles and get a good solid finish out of the day.’’

He credited his team with helping achieve that goal after the crew fixed damage from that crash, triggered when Denny Hamlin nearly lost control of his car on a restart about 40 laps from the finish.

“We literally did all the crash damage, didn’t slow down hardly at all and didn’t have any issues,’’ Allgaier said. “That’s what that comment was about, getting ourselves to that position, having a good solid day. Even though we maybe were disappointed with 16th, we did a great job of capitalizing on a bad situation.’’

Now it's on to the next race.

“We have the make the most of every weekend,’’ Allgaier said.

That’s what Truex did for BK Racing with his 20th-place finish. His previous best finish was 30th at Martinsville in March.

“We’ve just had so many parts failures,’’ Truex said. “This is probably the first weekend in a while we had nothing go wrong. Everything just worked out. I think we could have finished 25th to 30th without the wreck, but having that wreck there, missing it, definitely helped us.

“Just to have a weekend go right and have a little but luck for once was nice.’’

He said it’s made a difference in the shop.

“The overall mood is better,’’ he said. “Everyone feels good about finishing good. We have momentum, that’s the biggest thing. We have the right attitude going into Watkins Glen. It’s just a matter of going out every weekend and doing what we did at Pocono.’’

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at The Glen starting at noon (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.

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