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NASCAR Crowns Two Former Venturini Motorsports Drivers with Rookie of the Year Honors

November 23, 2009

CONCORD, NC (11/23/09) – A rookie is often referred to as “an athlete competing in their first season of a professional sport.” Joey Logano and Justin Allgaier may have loosely fit into this definition, but were by no means inexperienced at their craft.

Every year since 1958, NASCAR has issued a Rookie of the Year (RoY) award to the top competing rookie in their respected class. This list, whether it be from the Cup, Nationwide or Truck level has seen some of the most revered racers of the time honored, and rightfully so. The 2009 class is no different. Joey Logano and Justin Allgaier were presented the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year award respectively.

Though both were rookies in their respected Series (Logano in Cup and Allgaier in Nationwide) neither was short on accolades before reaching their current level. Logano, who has been under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing for several years, earned the 2007 NASCAR Camping World East Series championship before working his way to the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Venturini Motorsports. Logano, plagued by NASCAR’s age restriction of 18 years old, wanted seat time before making his 2008 Nationwide debut, just days after his birthday.

Through 2008-2009 Logano would make four (4) starts with Venturini Motorsports as part of their Driver Development Program. In only his first race with the team, the Carolina 500k at Rockingham Speedway, he would go on to dominate the race en route to his first ARCA win. He would then gain runner-up finishes at both Talladega and Daytona before once again finding victory lane with the legendary team. In June 2009 Logano would pilot his No. 25 Home Depot Toyota Camry to victory lane one final time.

“Joey (Logano) is truly one of the most talented young race car drivers out there today,” claimed Venturini Motorsports Competition Director Billy Venturini. “His knack with a race car is phenomenal and we (Venturini Motorsports) were honored that he came through our program.”

On top of Logano’s 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series victory at Pocono Raceway, he would go on to amass several Nationwide Series victories and his career first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. At season’s end, Logano earned the best finishing rookie award an astounding 26 times and became the youngest driver to win the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award in the Sprint Cup Series.

At the end of the 2008 race season, Justin Allgaier knew he would be racing for Penske Racing, but had no set races for 2009. Like Logano, Allgaier had earned a hard fought reputation in the racing ranks, dating back to when he was five (5) years old and raced quarter midgets.

During most of his racing career, Allgaier ran for his father’s race team located in Springfield, IL. 2008 was no different, as they embarked on a full season in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, ultimately crowning Allgaier champion after the season finale at Toledo Speedway. One thing differed in 2008 however. Allgaier would join forces with Venturini Motorsports as part of their Driver Development Program for one (1) race. Allgaier would pilot the No.16 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet at Nashville Superspeedway, were he was a contending force for the win before another car caused a late race altercation, taking him from contention.

Through his partnership with Venturini Motorsports and his 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series championship, Allgaier was quickly signed to race for Penske Racing in select races at the end of 2008 and later the whole Nationwide Schedule in 2009.

“Justin (Allgaier) is an incredibly talented racecar driver, who is destined for great things in his racing career,” stated Billy Venturini. “He has shown his versatility on the track and has become a role model off of it. I am honored our team had the chance to work with him and wish him the best at Penske Racing.”

En route to his 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Raybestos Rookie of the Year honor, Allgaier would claim the Rookie of the Race 11 times during the season. He amassed three top-five and 12 top-10 finishes while placing sixth in the series championship standings. Allgaier also won his first career pole at Memphis Motorsports Park and became the first driver to win the “RoY” title for Penske Racing since Ryan Newman captured it in 2002.