NASCAR: Justin Allgaier sitting out of Friday’s Sprint Showdown

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Sprint Cup rookie Justin Allgaier will not compete in Friday’s Sprint Showdown for an opportunity to make the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte the next night.

The winner and runner-up in the Showdown move on to the main event, but Allgaier’s car owner, Harry Scott, has opted to pull the Illinois driver from Friday’s event in order to focus on upcoming points-paying races such as the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend.

The decision comes after Allgaier wrecked in last weekend’s 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway. He was clipped by a spinning A.J. Allmendinger and spun into David Gilliland, who took a second impact with the SAFER Barrier in the tri-oval.

Both drivers were checked and released from the infield care center, but not after enduring perhaps the hardest hit so far this Sprint Cup season. It was Allgaier’s third crash in the last four races.

“For us, being a small independent team, obviously points races are the main focus,” Allgaier said according to the Associated Press. “With crashing a couple of weeks ago at Talladega and crashing last week at Kansas, it puts a toll on a team and this is going to give us to really hit the reset button and push through.

“I understand it, I know why we are doing it. I would much rather go and try to win the 600 then to just make it through the Showdown and just make it through the 600.”

Allgaier also noted that his team buys older chassis, primarily from Hendrick Motorsports, and needs time to prepare them.

“We get older cars, they are not cheap, and they are not the easiest to get,” he said. “If they’ve got a good car, they don’t want to get rid of them too soon.”

It’s been a trying first year in Cup for Allgaier, who ran five full seasons in the Nationwide Series before moving up for 2014. He sits 29th in the Cup standings with a top finish of 17th at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.

Ticktum takes dramatic Macau GP win as leaders crash on last lap

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British youngster Dan Ticktum took a dramatic victory in the 64th Macau Grand Prix on Sunday after the leading two cars crashed out at the final corner on the last lap of the race.

In an incident-packed race that saw front-row starters Joel Eriksson and Callum Ilott clash early on amid a litany of Full Course Yellows, Brazilian racer Sergio Sette Camara was able to move into the lead ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Maximilian Günther.

Günther’s pace dropped off in the closing stages as he struggled to keep his tires alive, causing a train of cars to form up behind him including McLaren youngster Lando Norris and the Red Bull-backed Ticktum.

Ticktum pulled off a brilliant double-pass on Norris and Günther around the outside of Lisboa to move up to third, with Sette Camara and Habsburg dueling for position right the way to the finish.

Habsburg attempted a brave pass around the outside of the Mandarin kink, but was forced to wait until the penultimate straight before he got a tow and was able to pass for the lead.

Drama then struck when both Habsburg and Sette Camara ran wide and crashed into the wall exiting the final fast right-hander by their own accord, paving the way for Ticktum to charge through to victory.

Norris and Ralf Aron benefited from the crashes to score second and third place respectively, while Habsburg was able to get to the checkered flag in fourth on three wheels.