IndyCar »

Penske confirms Allmendinger Indy 500 entry

AJ Allmendinger will enter this year's Indianapolis 500 race, Team Penske confirmed on Friday morning.
In a news conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Team Penske has formally announced that it will field an entry for NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and former Champ Car World Series racer AJ Allmendinger in this year's Indianapolis 500 race.

Allmendinger will drive the #2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet entry and attempt to qualify for the 97th running of the race, scheduled for May 26. Prior to this, Penske will also enter Allmendinger into the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park at the start of April, in order to give Allmendinger some valuable extra current race experience in an open-wheel car.

"I think it's every driver's dream to race for Team Penske at the Indy 500 and that experience is going to be incredible," said the 31-year-old. "I also have to thank IZOD for their support and for giving me a chance to show what I can do. I definitely intend to make the most of it."

Allmendinger has already taken part in one pre-season test session with the team when he turned out at Sebring International Raceway in February, in what was his first turn in a open-wheel car since 2006. He'll get another chance behind the wheel at next week's IZOD IndyCar Series spring training test sessions at Barber, and will likely test for the first time on an oval at either Texas Motor Speedway or Auto Club Speedway, Fontana in late April.

Allmendinger has been competing in stock cars for the past six seasons, and in 2012 secured a seat with Roger Penske's NASCAR Sprint Cup operation. The team and driver parted company last summer after Allmendinger failed a random drugs test and was suspended from competition. He's since been reinstated after completing a mandatory rehabilitation program, and was back in competition again last weekend at Phoenix. However he's still to find a full-time Cup ride of the same calibre he enjoyed for the first part of last year.

More importantly, Roger Penske has continually been on Allmendinger's side and stood by the driver throughout, and he and team president Tim Cindric have been keen to give him a second chance even though there is no longer a spare seat in the NASCAR squad, which has led to this sideways step for Allmendinger into a début in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2013.

“I have to thank Roger, Tim and everyone at Team Penske for this opportunity," said Allmendinger. "I'm really looking forward to getting back to my roots and racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series."

"It is exciting to welcome AJ back to Penske Racing," declared Roger Penske. "He obviously went through a tough time last year but he has done everything he needed to in order to get back to racing at the top level of the sport.

"We have always believed in AJ and his ability and he deserves this opportunity," he continued. "We think he will be a strong competitor this season in the IZOD IndyCar Series for Team Penske and we look forward to racing with him in the IZOD car at Barber and at the Indianapolis 500."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
19-20 June, 2010, Newton, iowa USA #6 Team Penske`s Ryan Briscoe.
26-28 March 2010, St petersburg, Florida USA #6 Team Pneke`s Ryan Briscoe.
Ryan Briscoe in the #2 Penske Chevrolet during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #51 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26, 2012 in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
AJ Allmendinger at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-season media tour. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carlin`s Indy Lights livery after announcing move in to series in 2015
Bryan Herta Autosport 2015 Indy 500 entry sponsored by Green1. (Picture Credit: Bryan Herta Autosport)
Will Power celebrates with his team after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his team owner Roger Penske after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with his wife Liz after winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.