IndyCar »

Penske confirms Allmendinger Indy 500 entry

"Everyone at IZOD is proud to continue the brand's sponsorship of Team Penske in 2013 and we look forward to working with AJ as he makes his return to open-wheel racing," said Mike Kelly, the executive vice president of IZOD's parent company The PVH Marketing Group. "AJ is a great fit for the brand as he embodies IZOD's youthful and competitive American spirit.

"We hope to see the #2 IZOD Team Penske car take the checkered flag at Barber, and on racing's biggest stage at the Indianapolis 500 where we'd all love a storybook ending with AJ drinking the milk in Victory Lane," Kelly added.

Before he can do that, Allmendinger will need to complete the mandatory three-phase Rookie Orientation Program on the 2.5-mile speedway on April 11 before he can move into a week of practice sessions ahead of the Indy 500's unique qualifying system run over a full weekend on May 18/19.

The starting grid for the race is capped at 33 cars, so it's not a completely foregone conclusion that Allmendinger will actually make it onto the track for the green flag for the race. However, it's unlikely that more than 32 other cars will enter this year's event, so any completed qualifying laps should be enough to see him into the race itself.

"There aren't enough adjectives to describe how I feel: anxious, exciting, nervous," Allmendinger told the news conference. "I'm not going to lie, I'm going to be nervous as hell."

Allmendinger's last open wheel race was on October 21 2006 at Surfers Paradise in Australia, at the end of a Champ Car World Series season that saw him win five events in a partial nine-race season with Forsythe Racing, ultimately finishing in third place in that year's championship.

"He's easy to get along with. When I raced him, he was very fast," said Will Power, who also competed in Champ Cars that season and who will now be Allmendinger's team mate at Penske. "That year, had he started with Forsythe, he probably would have won the championship."

Although this year will see Allmendinger make his debut entry in the Indy 500, it's actually not the first time he will have competed at the Speedway: he has competed in four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at the Brickyard, with a best finish of 10th.

Even so, on his first outing at IMS in a stock car in 2007 his instinctive thought was to wonder, 'I wonder what it's like in an IndyCar?' - and now he's going to find out. "I've been told I'm not to hit the brakes when I get to the end of the front straightaway: the first challenge is going to be holding my foot down!"

The #2 car was driven in 2012 by Ryan Briscoe, who has now parted company with the team because of a lack of sponsorship funding for the entry for an entire season. Briscoe won pole position for last year's Indy 500 in the car and went on to finish in fifth place. For 2013, Allmendinger's race engineer will be Ron Ruzewski who is the team's technical director.




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)
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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.