Race Car Driver Given a Second Chance
A.J. Allmendinger is getting back to his roots in open wheel racing.
After years as a successful Kart driver, including two championships, he made his way to NASCAR, but things went south last July. He was driving for Roger Penske's NASCAR team when he tested positive for the prescription medication, Adderall. He was suspended by NASCAR on July 24th and released by Penske on August 1st.
Allmendinger participated in NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program and was re-instated in late September. Penske offered the California native a chance to drive for his IndyCar team, and Allmendinger jumped at it. The move was announced Friday at IMS.
A.J. says the support of Roger Penske never wavered, and it was paramount to his comeback. "It's going to be pretty amazing driving a race car for him around this place, but just that phone call to have that support and that confidence in me. Whatever race car he wanted me to drive for him, that's meant more than driving a race car in general."
Allmendinger says its also been helpful to have teammates like Helio Castroneves and Will Power. He says he feels more prepared than ever to drive and be successful in a race car.
He will drive in two IndyCar races for Penske, Alabama and the Indy 500.