As Justin Allgaier prepares for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship race at Phoenix Raceway, he does so with the confidence and experience of a seasoned veteran in the sport.
He has qualified for the Xfinity Playoffs under the current format for seven consecutive years and this season is the fifth time that Allgaier has advanced to the Championship Round of 4.
“The final-four race is truly special. I don’t think I realized that as much as I did last year when I missed it. You know, we were the first car out last year. And I came to Phoenix and the word deflated doesn’t even begin to describe last year.“
Looking ahead to this weekend’s race, Allgaier is hoping that past experience will translate into success, but he also realizes that the competition will be fierce.
“As a veteran, I’d love nothing more than to walk out of here with a win and a championship,” he said. ”But I got three other competitors that I know are extremely talented and you got three race teams that are extremely talented.
“So, we’re gonna have our work cut out for us. But, the only advantage I got right now is I got time on my side, I got experience, and we’ve been in this position before, and hopefully, we can make the most of it.”
And while a championship title is on the line, Allgaier approaches it like any other race during the year.
“If I look at this race as being different, how did I get here? I didn’t get here by being different. I got here because I did the things that I know how to do. What I will say is this, you have to respect this race. It’s not a matter of, it’s just another race, in the terms of the respect level that you have to have for this event. But the way you approach it has to be that you’re not going to do anything different.”
Allgaier also acknowledged that racing against teammates can be tricky.
“When it comes down to the checkered flag, I think the gloves are off and we gotta do what we gotta do. I think we gotta race each other to the start/finish line.”
What would a championship mean to Allgaier?
“My reason for wanting to win a championship is probably a little different than everybody else,” he explained. “I have a debt to pay to every man and woman that has helped me in my career to get to this level. I want to win because I’m competitive. But when it’s all said and done I want to equally win as much for all the people, all the companies, all the partners, everybody that’s been a part of this. I want my guys to stand in victory lane and I want them to experience that. So that’s what it would mean to me.”
Regardless of the outcome, Allgaier’s belief in his abilities will remain unchanged.
“If we don’t win it, it’s not because of lack of effort. When Saturday is over, if we win or we lose, it will not define the career that I’ve had. I want to add champion to my name, but it’s not going to define who I am.”
And while there is no doubting his desire to win as a competitor, he would not have this opportunity without the continuing support of his family.
“What’s cool for me is the family dynamic that we have in our race team, Allgaier added. “Number one, Mom and Dad, Mom actually started it all, funded me, time and effort, everything you could ever ask for from a set of parents.
“I meet my wife and my wife has carried that banner. “She’s an amazing parent and she has taken what my parents started and she has embodied that and truly been an incredible part of my career and getting me to where I’m at.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on the USA Network with radio coverage provided by MRN and SiriusXM.
*Justin Allgaier Quotes via SiriusXM NASCAR Radio