When it comes to the future of NASCAR Nationwide Series star Justin Allgaier, both the driver of the #12 Verizon Wireless Dodge and team owner Roger Penske have remained hush-hush.
While it looks like Allgaier is committed to Penske, both parties have said that they have no immediate plans to move the 23-year old up into the Sprint Cup Series. Whether the “immediate plans” include the 2011 season remains to be seen.
However, if you have a pool going on amongst friends or in the workplace, bet on Allgaier moving up to Cup in 2011.
With Tuesday’s announcement that Shell/Pennzoil will be moving over to Penske Championship Racing in 2011, we are already starting to see a domino affect. Kurt Busch will stay in-house, but vacate the #2 to take over the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. With the #2 open, Brad Keselowski will slide over from his #12 car and take the reigns of the Blue Duece.
Penske plans on keeping the #77 along with driver Sam Hornish Jr. It was mentioned that the team owner wants to have a third car next year, but nothing was ever mentioned about dissolving the #12, which leads me to believe that it will be a fourth car for Penske, and that somebody will take it over.
So who takes over the #12? That is where it looks like Allgaier may step in.
Allgaier has already tested a Cup car, back at the new spoiler test in Charlotte, and he will have been in a Nationwide car for two years once this season is finished. He is also the proverbial future of Penske Championship Racing.
That, along with the fact that solid free-agent drivers are disappearing off the market faster than you can say “Brad Keselowski”, means that there may only be one option for car #12 in 2011: Justin Allgaier.
Justin Allgaier contending for the 2011 Rookie of the Year? It could happen.