Last-lap Pass By Allgaier Wins ARCA RE/MAX Series 250
Justin Allgaier capped an action-packed race by making a final-lap pass of teenage phenom Joey Logano to win the ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday.
More than a dozen cars jockeyed wildly for position over the final five laps, with Allgaier finally grabbing the lead for good by zipping past Logano on the high side as the pack roared into turn one.
It was the second consecutive ARCA victory for Allgaier and his fifth of the season, but he admits that this one was special.
“To come out of here with a victory means so much to all of us,” Allgaier said. “I think you can win anywhere you want to, but you can come to Talladega and the chances of winning are in the rest of everybody else’s hands and what luck you have.
“So we feel like God is definitely on our side the past couple of weeks. He gave us the rain when we needed it last weekend in New Jersey and gave us the push we needed this weekend.”
Logano, on the other hand, could not hide his disappointment at losing the lead on the final lap.
“I did everything I could do. I just got beat. He just schooled me,” Logano said. “I learned a lot. I know how to do things different next time.”
Of course, in the frenzy that is draft racing at Talladega, sometimes even the best plans do not work out.
“Things got a little bit crazy,” Allgaier said of the final laps. “I think we pushed (Patrick Sheltra) up to the lead and (Logano) ended up being able to get by us. We got ready to get the one (lap) to go and got a really good run going down the front straightaway and got by (Sheltra). As luck would have it, we got him far enough out there in front us that I was able to get a run and be able to go back to the right on the outside of him.
“(Logano) definitely drove me a clean race. He could have gotten into us and put a wheel to us and slowed us down, but he didn’t. We were able to get back in line to get the victory. Really, it was a cool day for us.”
Logano burst onto the racing season earlier this year by winning his ARCA debut at Rockingham. But he was frustrated by his failure to pick up a victory Friday at Talladega.
“These guys did a really good job working on this race car,” Logano said of his crew. “I’m just mad that I didn’t live up to it for them. But we learned a lot and we’ll get them next time.”
Logano was not the only driver to get shuffled out during the frenetic final laps. Bobby Gerhart, who finished third, said those last few laps were some of the most intense racing he has experienced.
“There was a lot going on,” Gerhart said. “I don’t remember much except for the last corner. Instinct kind of takes over for all of us at that point. It was a mad scramble, and things got exciting. It was certainly one whale of a race, there’s no doubt about that.”
Jeremy Clements finished fourth, followed by Sheltra in fifth, Frank Kimmel sixth, John Wes Townley seventh, Mark Thompson eighth, Chrissy Wallace ninth and Matt Carter 10th.
Alabama native Mike Harmon finished 15th, and former Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael was 30th in his ARCA debut.
The top two drivers in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings, Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., both ran into trouble during Friday’s race and finished well off the pace. Speed finished 23rd and Stenhouse came in 28th.
Speed managed to stretch his lead in the standings from 65 to 85 points over Stenhouse with only one race left on the schedule. Allgaier is in third place, 105 points out of first.
Kimmel’s sixth-place finish was good enough to earn him the sixth Bill France Triple Crown Championship of his career. The Triple Crown Championship is a separate point fund within the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule that test drivers on a variety of venues, including dirt tracks, short tracks and the Superspeedway at Talladega.
“It’s pretty cool. I really like that award,” said Kimmel, a nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champ. “I think it shows everything ARCA is about with all the different race tracks we go to. It’s great to win that. We aren’t going to win a championship this year, so we are able to take home a little bit of hardware from the ARCA banquet.”
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