Allemendinger back in Penske stock car

BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 16: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet, stands on pit road during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 16:  AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet, stands on pit road during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN – MARCH 16: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet, stands on pit road during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

DOVER, Del. — Fresh from a seventh-place finish in last Sunday’s 97th Indianapolis 500, where he led 23 laps in his debut, AJ Allmendinger will return to a Penske Racing stock car in two Nationwide Series road course races this year, the team announced Saturday.

Allmendinger will drive the No. 22 Penske Ford at Road America on June 22 and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 17.

“I think this is a great opportunity for us to have AJ drive the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford,” owner Roger Penske said in a team release. “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 hasn’t driven a stock car for Penske since he lost his ride in the No. 22 Sprint Cup car after a failed drug test last year. Suspended by NASCAR, Allmendinger earned reinstatement through the sanctioning body’s Road to Recovery program and has competed in four Sprint Cup races this season in the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet SS owned by James Finch.

Allmendinger has eight starts in the Nationwide Series, the last coming at Phoenix in 2008. The race at Mid-Ohio will mark the first visit there from any of NASCAR’s top three touring series.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.