CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — HScott Motorsports pulled rookie Justin Allgaier from the entry list for the Sprint Showdown on Tuesday after accidents in three of his last four races.
Allgaier will watch Friday night’s qualifier at Charlotte Motor Speedway from the sidelines, and will not have a chance to race his way into the Sprint All-Star race. The top two finishers in the Showdown advance to Saturday night’s $1 million main event.
“For us, being a small independent team, obviously points races are the main focus,” Allgaier said. “With crashing a couple of weeks ago at Talladega and crashing last week at Kansas, it puts a toll on a team and this is going to give us to really hit the reset button and push through. I understand it, I know why we are doing it. I would much rather go and try to win the 600 then to just make it through the Showdown and just make it through the 600.”
Allgaier is 29th in the Sprint Cup standings and does not have a top-10 finish this season.
He said the HScott organization needs to regroup and focus on next week’s Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the NASCAR schedule. By skipping the Showdown, the crew can work on building cars and concentrate on preparations for the May 25 race.
“Having the time to rebuild inventory is so much different than the luxury of just buying new cars,” Allgaier said of HScott, which purchases old chassis from Hendrick Motorsports. “We get older cars, they are not cheap, and they are not the easiest to get. If they’ve got a good car, they don’t want to get rid of them too soon.”
Allgaier hinted that he’d not be participating Friday night when he tweeted simply a picture of a frowning emoticon face. He received an immediate reply from Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver.
“Cheer up dude. Hard wreck you walked away from. Things could be worse,” Earnhardt tweeted.
Allgaier’s wreck Saturday night at Kansas Speedway began when a spin by AJ Allmendinger collected Allgaier, sending the rookie’s car up the track into David Gilliland’s path. The collision knocked the wind out of him and left him with a small cut on his left elbow and a few bruises.
He praised the safety equipment for allowing him to walk away, and was grateful for Earnhardt’s message.
“Social media, you put stuff out there, whether it be good or bad or indifferent,” Allgaier said. “To have someone like that respond to it, that says a lot. Just how genuine how a lot of drivers are in this sport. Look at Dale Jr., one of our most notable, most influential and most valuable people in the sport. For him to take the time to tweet me, that was something that was pretty cool.”