Penske phenom Allgaier lands Cup seat at testing
Justin Allgaier participated in his first official Sprint Cup Series test and hoped Tuesday's session will lead to an upcoming race at NASCAR's top level.
Penske Racing brought four cars to the two-day test at Charlotte Motor Speedway to give Allgaier seat time. The 23-year-old is coming off his first NASCAR victory, a win in the Nationwide Series last weekend at Bristol.
Drivers are permitted to participate in two NASCAR-approved test sessions before committing to entering a Cup race.
"Obviously when I started at Penske Racing my goal was to reach the Cup level, so for me, this is a good way to come out and get some laps and see what these cars drive like,'' said the second-year Penske driver.
"Hopefully we can help out the other guys. I think that's the biggest thing — how do we benefit all three of our Cup teams and get me some experience at the same time? This is the easiest way to do it.''
Penske fields Cup cars for Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr.
Allgaier competes full-time in the Nationwide Series and won rookie of the year honors at that level last season. He was told last week he'd get a chance to test at Charlotte and speculated it may have given him a confidence boost before his Bristol victory.
Allgaier has tested a Cup car at tracks that are eligible under NASCAR's current restrictions. As a result, the 1.5-mile Charlotte track is the largest facility in which he's driven a Cup car.
"I have not really been to a track like here because we don't have any that I can go to test at,'' Allgaier said. "The majority of my testing comes on short tracks, and I think that was one of the plans why to come here.
"You can test short tracks all day long (but) this is what the core of the schedule is going to be if you do get to the Cup side, so how do we get more laps on a race track like this and obviously make myself better?''