Jeremy Hood, Fox59 Sports
With all the news surrounding the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s potential $100 million financial opportunity, there also might be a new IndyCar driver debuting in Indianapolis during the month of May. NASCAR driver A.J Allmendinger will be teaming up with Roger Penske to test drive an IndyCar in hopes of competing in this year’s Indy 500. He was at Penske Racing on Thursday having a seat fit for him in an IndyCar.
Allmendinger was suspended by NASCAR before the July race at Daytona by failing a random drug test. He asked to have his backup “B” sample tested, and was released by Penske Racing on Aug. 1. That sample also came back positive for a banned substance. Just one month later, Almendinger was reinstated after completing NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” program this past September. Although Penske has moved on without him in NASCAR, he is willing to give him a shot in an IndyCar.
Penske, whose team has won 15 Indy 500s, is committed to running a third car this May. The team owner in December originally offered the seat to three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, but Stewart declined the opportunity. Penske had no problem asking Allmendinger instead, as he is no stranger to an IndyCar. He has competed in three races run on one oval track, Milwaukee. He finished fifth, second and fourth in his three career starts there.