MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Penske Racing announced today that AJ Allmendinger will pilot the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in two upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series road course events at Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The move will allow Allmendinger a chance to return to Penske Racing’s NASCAR program. This season, Allmendinger has been competing in a part-time schedule with the Team Penske IndyCar program.
In three races behind the wheel of the No. 2 Team Penske IndyCar, Allmendinger has a best finish of seventh, which came in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 over Memorial Day weekend. Allmendinger, making his first start in the historic race, led 23 laps as a rookie at the speedway.
“I think this is a great opportunity for us to have AJ drive the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford,” said team owner Roger Penske. “He is a great talent on road courses and has been doing a great job for Team Penske already this year in the IZOD IndyCar Series. With his stock car experience and his road course experience, we think this is the perfect opportunity for him and for the team.”
Allmendinger, a Los Gatos, Calif. native, raced in the Champ Car World Series from 2004-2006 when he earned five wins, two poles and 14 podium finishes over a three-year period before eventually moving full-time to NASCAR. He has amassed 177-career Sprint Cup Series starts, including nine on road courses (Sonoma and Watkins Glen). In those nine events, he’s scored one top-five and four top-10s, his best being a fourth-place finish at Watkins Glen in 2010.
“I’ve always really enjoyed the road course racing in NASCAR, so to get the opportunity to compete in two events in the Nationwide Series with Penske Racing is amazing,” said Allmendinger, who has just eight-career NASCAR Nationwide Series starts. “I’ve had the chance to test with the No. 22 Discount Tire team at Virginal International Raceway and the guys are great. They work hard to make sure they put an amazing piece on the track and that shows in the results.”
The Road America event is set to take place on June 22nd while the Nationwide Series’ first trip to the famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will run August 17th.