The Turner Motorsports teams head north to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a slightly different driver lineup. The Just Allgaier is in his familiar #31 BRANDT Chevrolet, in the #30 this weekend is Canadian driver Alex Tagliani, and Brad Sweet returns to the seat of the #38 Great Clips Chevrolet. Below is a preview of each driver.
Justin Allgaier #31 BRANDT Chevrolet
Weekend Rewind: Watkins Glen – Justin Allgaier and the BRANDT team took to the 2.45-mile road course at Watkins Glen with hopes of continuing the momentum they had been building through the summer months. The weather threatened to dampen their plans, but moved out of the Finger Lake region of New York in time for the 82-lap race on Saturday. After running in the top-15 for the majority of the event, leading one lap and surviving an exciting finish, Allgaier brought home another top-10 finish for the BRANDT team, scoring a ninth-place result. Allgaier gained four points on the leader in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) point standings, but remains fifth, 74 points back from first.
Allgaier at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - Even though he’s gaining experience at road courses, Allgaier has made only three starts at the 2.71-mile road course in Montreal, Quebec. In those starts, he has claimed two top-10 finishes with an average starting spot of 24.3, coupled with an average finish of 17.7. Allgaier’s highest finish came in last season’s event, where he took the checkers in the eighth spot.
Welcome Alex Tagliani - Turner Motorsports welcomes Montreal-native, Alex Tagliani to the seat of the No. 30 Chevrolet this weekend in Montreal. Allgaier hopes to lean on the knowledge of his new teammate this weekend, as Tagliani is very familiar with his hometown track and nearly took the win in last season’s event.
Let’s Head to City Hall - Allgaier will join NNS Director Joe Balash in making an appearance at Montreal City Hall alongside NAPA Auto Parts race promoter François Dumontier and the Mayor of Montreal, Gérald Tremblay. Allgaier will be on hand to sign the City “Gold” Book as well as be available for interviews.
This Week’s Impala - This weekend, Allgaier will drive TMS-302 in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. This is the same car Allgaier drove to a 10th-place finish earlier in the season at Road America after starting seventh.
Allgaier on returning to Montreal: “I always enjoy the opportunity we have to come up to Montreal and race. There is a ton of history at this track, and the city is beautiful. We always know that there will be a ton of fans out to cheer us on as well! I feel like our road course program is stronger than ever this year and the BRANDT team has been reaping the benefits of that with the finishes we’ve had. Not only that, but I know with Jimmy (Elledge, crew chief) on top of the pit box, we have a great mind when it comes to fuel strategy. I’d really like to finish off our year at the road courses with a solid finish, and I think we can do that this weekend in Montreal.”
Brad Sweet #38 Great Clips Chevrolet
Back to stock cars and road courses… Brad Sweet, who spent last week in Knoxville, Iowa for the famed Knoxville Nationals sprint car event, returns to the seat of the No. 38 Great Clips machine for this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The Grass Valley, Calif.-native, competed in the season’s first road course race at Road America in June, posting a respectable 20th-place finish in his first ever experience racing on a road course.
Who’s on the pit box? Mike Shiplett joined Turner Motorsports in 2012 and has a unique role as he calls the shots for both a veteran (Kasey Kahne) and a rookie (Sweet). It is a reunion of sorts for Kahne and Shiplett, who were paired together in the NNS during the 2007 season and put down impressive results including two victories (Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway, spring events).
This Week’s Impala… The No. 38 team will unload chassis TMS-301 this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Sweet began practice in TMS-301 at Road America but after being involved in an accident, the team chose to retire the car and bring out the back-up for the actual race.
Celebrating 30 Years… Great Clips is celebrating their 30th birthday by giving away a 2012 Camaro! In addition, three lucky winners will win a trip to November’s Great Clips 200 at Phoenix International Raceway! Just sign up to win by texting CAMARO to 47328 (Canadian residents text CAMARO to 77777) or go to www.greatclips.com to enter or get more details. The sweepstakes runs now through August 15th. Three finalists will be chosen after August 15th, and they will win a trip for themselves and a guest to attend the Great Clips 200 Nationwide race in Phoenix, AZ on November 10th. Each finalist will be given a key to the Camaro – but only one will have the “lucky key” that will start the car and win!
Kahne and Sweet: a unique combination… Not only are Kahne and Sweet good friends off the track, but the veteran is serving as mentor to Sweet as he makes the transition from open-wheel competition to stock cars. Sweet was handpicked by Kahne in 2008 to drive for Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) where he has since experienced tremendous success in the World of Outlaws Series. Sweet will continue to compete on a limited basis for KKR when he is not behind the wheel of the No. 38 Great Clips machine in the NNS. You can expect Kahne to be very involved and present in the NNS garage when Sweet is behind the wheel of the No. 38 as he will closely monitor his progress and offer encouragement.
Kahne brought Great Clips their first win! From 2003-2005, Kahne and his sponsor, Great Clips, Inc., reached momentous milestones, including capturing Kahne’s first Nationwide Series victory in 2003 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was also Great Clips’ first win as a primary sponsor. In 2005, Kahne captured his second career win at Texas Motor Speedway before leaving the Nationwide Series to allow more time for his Sprint Cup Series efforts.
Great Clips goes racing with the World of Outlaws in 2012! Great Clips serves as sponsor for KKR driver Joey Saldana this year in the World of Outlaws series. The Minneapolis-based company has been a sponsor of KKR for the past two seasons. This year, they will be featured on all three KKR entries – as a primary sponsor on the #9 with Saldana as well as associate sponsor placement on Brad Sweet’s #49 and Cody Darrah’s #5 World of Outlaws cars.
12 Years and Counting… Great Clips, Inc. is currently the longest-running sponsor in the NNS and has used the Nationwide Series as their primary marketing platform for the last 11 years. Their sponsorship began in 2000 with Akins Motorsports as they climbed on board to sponsor the team’s No. 38 entry with driver, Christian Elder. Mark Green piloted the No. 38 for one season before general manager, Doug Stringer, hired up-and-coming talent, Kasey Kahne, thereby solidifying Great Clips’ commitment to their NASCAR sponsorship.
Sweet on this weekend’s NNS race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve: “Going into this weekend’s race in Montreal, I feel a little bit more prepared than I did going into the race at Road America. That was my first experience on a road course and while it started out a little rough, I think we ended up having a pretty decent run. I know that I learned a lot and now know a little bit better what to expect. This Great Clips team had a great run with Kasey last weekend at Watkins Glen and I know that they learned some things that will hopefully be an added advantage for me this weekend in Montreal.”
Alex Tagliani #30 Chevrolet
Welcome Alex Tagliani… Turner Motorsports is pleased to welcome Montreal-native Alex Tagliani to the seat of its No. 30 Chevrolet for this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. A hometown favorite, Tagliani will be making his third NNS start at the Montreal-based road course. In last year’s event, he laid down an impressive performance, starting second, finishing second and leading 11 laps. This will mark Tagliani’s fourth career NNS start.
This Week’s Impala a Previous Winner… The No. 30 team will unload chassis TMS-300 this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. This is the same chassis that Nelson Piquet Jr. drove to his first career NNS victory in June at Road America, giving the No. 30 team their second win of the season.
No. 30 Season-To-Date Stats… The No. 30 team, led by crew chief Trent Owens, has had an impressive season to date. A victory in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway with driver James Buescher was followed with a second victory in June at Road America with Nelson Piquet Jr. On top of the two wins, the team has three top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes.
In-Race Reporter… Tagliani will serve as ESPN’s In-Race Reporter during Saturday’s broadcast of the NAPA Auto Parts 200. Make sure to tune in to hear his thoughts on the racing action throughout the event.
Tagliani on returning to NNS competition at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve: “I’m always proud to come back to Montreal and to be able to race on this fantastic road course named after one of my all-time racing heroes, Gilles Villeneuve,” said Tagliani. “I really wanted to race here again, so when the opportunity presented itself with Turner Motorsports and we were no longer scheduled to be overseas, I was pretty excited. In Formula Atlantic, I won here from the pole and also had a pole in Indy Car. Montreal has been good to me to date and I’m hoping to better my race history here. Having a competitive car to challenge for the win is all I can wish for.”
“Last year’s race was a great experience and it was amazing to qualify on the front row and finish the race second. This year is really cool because I met Trent Owens (crew chief of the No. 30 entry for Turner Motorsports) in Kershaw and he was really helpful, answering all my questions even though, at that time, he was working with his own team. It’s ironic that we are going to work together a few short years later. He’s an amazing guy, so I’m excited. I’m honored to drive for Turner Motorsports. This is a passionate group of individuals that make up an awesome team. From Steve (Turner) to all the mechanics, I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at the shop.”
Crew chief Trent Owens on working with Tagliani: “We are looking forward to working with Tag. Looking at what he is capable of doing in Indy Car with a new team with a one-car operation for the last two street course-qualifying sessions says it all. But last year is what impressed me. He missed the pole by just a little bit, and then ran a mistake-free race. Racing in the open wheel circuits makes him drive with a lot of respect on the track and that’s important.”