Left without a NASCAR seat in 2013, AJ Allmendinger will get an unexpected helping hand from Penske Racing.
The 31-year-old will be given the opportunity to test Penske Racing’s IndyCar machine at Sebring International Racing on February 18-19. Provided that the test is succesful, Allmendinger will make his open-wheel debut for Penske Racing at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7. According to sources cited by FOXSports.com, Allmendinger will also drive at Long Beach in preparation for the Indianapolis 500 if everything goes according to plan and he gets sponsorship.
“The first test is just to see how things go at Sebring. It’s been seven years since I’ve been in one of those cars – and they’ve changed quite a bit. I know it won’t be easy. But I know I’ll be in the best possible equipment and I’ll have Will Power there – one of the fastest guys in the sport – to help me get up to speed. I’m really looking forward to it. At least Sebring is a track I know,” Allmendinger told FOXSports.com.
He added he’s extremely grateful to Roger Penske for giving him this opportunity and basically, another chance. Allmendinger drove for Penske Racing’s Sprint Cup team in 2012, but he failed a drug test on June 29 and was suspended from NASCAR on July 7. He completed NASCAR’s Road to Recovery rehabilitation program, but was ousted by Penske Racing on August 1.