Hot 20 – To Xfinity and Beyond, or the day Justin Allgaier thought he was Buzz Lightyear

Okay, the biggest story from Indianapolis was not Kasey Kahne’s win. It was not the fact he has received no assurances that he will keep his spot with Rick Hendrick’s stable next season. The one thing we might be assured of is that whoever sits in the No. 5 next year, it sure in hell won’t be Justin Allgaier.

Allgaier will be in the XFINITY version for the Chase this fall, but his reputation took a hit this past weekend. First, he comes into the pits riding the line between the lane and his pit stall. In doing so, Allgaier was out of position and wound up sending his jackman flying and a tire changer skipping out of danger. That was just the first act of this cartoon.

Later, he came in and once again was riding that line between being in his stall and out. They started their work, but the crew had to stop and push Allgaier’s car back to be legal. Then, before they even removed his front right, the driver saw the field coming around to lap him, so he guns it and out he goes. No warning. No lug nuts. Thankfully crew members were not left with no fingers.

No air hose, either. As Allgaier left with the air gun under the car, the hose snapped and came whipping back like a snake with a severe disorder. Then it took some time for the radio calls to him to stop went heeded. By then, the tire was pretty much off, though not completely so at least a penalty was avoided. Good news for the crew, who would have faced fines and suspension, Sadly, by this time the fender was shattered. After some repairs, he was back out but 14 laps down. Bravery was a pit crew still willing to put themselves in harm’s way.

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Allgaier, his tire changer, his tire carrier, and his crew chief will all be back on Saturday in Iowa. Our hopes and prayers are with them all. Meanwhile, the Cup folks are in Pocono. It is getting to the point where points matter little. Winning one that counts does. Anyone winless in the Top 30 still has a chance to break some hearts on Sunday, while warming their own.

1. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 3 WINS (780 Pts)
Rowdy was the guy to beat last week and beat him into the fence he did.

2. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 3 WINS (564 Pts)
Did you ever hear about The Little Engine That Could? Jimmie’s could not.

3. KYLE LARSON – 2 WINS (732 Pts)
Today, I have one son in Alta, Norway, one at Niagra Falls, while Kyle was in Ohsweken.

4. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 2 WINS (601 Pts)
He remains Roger’s boy for years to come.

5. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 2 WINS (443 Pts)
Still has the most well known girlfriend in NASCAR, but that is not the center of conversation.

6. KEVIN HARVICK – 1 WIN (683 Pts)
Drop a Jimmy John’s sandwich 153 feet off the spotter’s stand, and you get replaced.

7. DENNY HAMLIN – 1 WIN (612 Pts)
Once a week not enough to keep his competitive fires burning? Jamie should extend an invite.

8. RYAN BLANEY – 1 WIN (516 Pts)
Leaving Wood Brothers for Penske, with Paul Menard filling this seat next season.

9. KURT BUSCH – 1 WIN (463 Pts)
If Monster returns, so will Kurt. If not, it could come down to either him or Danica at SHR.

10. RYAN NEWMAN – 1 WIN (462 Pts)
Newman remembers something similar happening a few years ago with that outfit.

11. KASEY KAHNE – 1 WIN (383 Pts)
Got his win, got his place in the Chase, but does his ride go to William Byron in 2018?

12. AUSTIN DILLON – 1 WIN (379 Pts)
Blood-lines and a win gives him job security with a three-team outfit shrinking down to two.

13. KYLE BUSCH – 673 POINTS
Reasons he has failed to win this season…#20 That damn Truex wrecked me.

14. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 599 POINTS
An athlete fights for a place in the Chase; a car driver fights for one in a McDonald’s drive-thru.

15. CHASE ELLIOTT – 588 POINTS
Feeling pretty comfortable…unless Matt, Clint, Joey, Erik, Daniel, or Junior win this summer.

16. MATT KENSETH – 566 POINTS
Time to worry.

17. CLINT BOWYER – 533 POINTS
Time to win.

18. JOEY LOGANO – 515 POINTS (1 Win)
Joey has a win and sits 13th in points. Sometimes that means nothing.

19. ERIK JONES – 440 POINTS
In the game of musical seats, he is bound for Gibbs which opens up one quality ride with FRR.

20. DANIEL SUAREZ – 434 POINTS
Probably more at home in Dorne than in Winterfell, but could soon be found beyond the Wall.

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