Verizon has reportedly informed Penske that it will not continue to sponsor Justin Allgaier next year. However — and boy, this has to sting a bit -- Verizon is sticking with Penske, but will be funding more Indy racing than Nationwide. In other words, Verizon is saying to Justin, it's not us ... it's you.
(To be fair, it's not really Allgaier's fault. Verizon is completely hamstrung by an inability to advertise to the best of its ability at tracks or at the Sprint Cup level, because of, well, Sprint. And why spend advertising dollars if you're not allowed to advertise?)
Although he's yet to run a race at the Sprint Cup level, Allgaier has come into his own this year on the Nationwide circuit. In 27 races, he's won one (Bristol I), placed in the top 5 six times, and placed in the top 10 14 times. He's the highest-ranked non-Sprint Cup driver, trailing only Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. (He also dusted me on the go-kart track, but that's not exactly tough to do.)
Penske wants to keep Allgaier in its stable, which could give them a Joe Gibbs Racing-esque combination of talented vet/lightning rod mouth/young hotshot of Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Justin Allgaier. (Sorry, Sam Hornish Jr., but there are walls you can dance with elsewhere.)
No word yet on a possible replacement, but as talented as Allgaier is, he likely won't remain sponsorless for long.
- Justin Allgaier