Allgaier wins Nationwide at Bristol

Updated: March 20, 2010, 7:33 PM ET
Associated Press

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Roger Penske casually leaned against the railing along the spotter stand at Bristol Motor Speedway, showing no emotion as he watched his two young drivers race each other for a win.

If he was nervous, he didn't show it. He asked Brad Keselowski to take care of his equipment, then settled in to watch Justin Allgaier hold off his Penske Racing teammate for the first NASCAR victory of his career.

"It's out of my hands," Penske said.

Allgaier passed Keselowski on a restart with 27 laps remaining in Saturday's race, then held him off over the closing laps to give Penske Racing its first 1-2 finish in the Nationwide Series. It was Dodge's first win at Bristol since August 2007.

Allgaier, last year's Nationwide Series rookie of the year, had to hold his line over the final 27 laps to keep Keselowski from passing.

"That battle with Brad at the end was awesome, and I couldn't have been happier at the end to see two Penske cars up there running for the win," Allgaier said in his first visit to Victory Lane.

Crew chief Chad Walter believed the win is the first of many for the 23-year-old Allgaier.

"I think the sky is the limit for this kid, and we just unleashed a monster," Walter said. "He's got a little confidence in him, and that's a great thing. Look out. This kid can win."

Keselowski, who led 73 laps after starting from the pole, said he didn't mind Allgaier passing him on the restart with 27 laps to go because of an incident at Bristol last year, before they were teammates, when Keselowski wrecked Allgaier in a similar situation.

"I had one coming," Keselowski smiled.

Keselowski started his day with a 40-minute meeting with Carl Edwards and NASCAR to discuss the drivers' ongoing feud. Edwards intentionally wrecked Keselowski two weeks ago in Atlanta, and Keselowski has vowed not to change the aggressive driving style that has angered so many veterans.

The 26-year-old tried to pass Allgaier on the inside several times, and turned up the pressure over the final 10 laps. But he backed away from his usual aggressive driving -- particularly with a potential win on the line -- and raced clean to the checkered flag.

"I had the opportunity and just erred on the side of caution," he said. "The last thing I need is to wreck either one of us. That's the last thing our program needs."

Penske only began running full-time in the Nationwide Series last season, largely as a means to develop drivers and bolster his Sprint Cup program. The progress is finally evident as Kurt Busch gave Penske his first Cup win of the season two weeks ago in Atlanta.

"Hopefully the fans and the media see the progress we've made over the last 24 months," Penske said.

Kyle Busch was third and was followed by Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick.

Harvick spun Joey Logano on the final lap to grab his top-five finish. Logano wound up 14th.

"I just raced with him and raced with him, and he kept chopping me and chopping me," Harvick said. "I got in there and just got into the back of him a little bit and I hate that happened. You've just got to have a lane to race, you just got to do what you got to do."

Logano talked with Harvick in the tunnel leaving the track.

"I don't understand that at all. It was for fifth place, so I don't know what he was doing," Logano said. "We ran together clean for almost the whole race and then he dumps me on the last lap. I don't understand what he was thinking."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press