Allmendinger to race for Team Penske in Fontana
Team Penske has announced that AJ Allmendinger will race for the team at the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., October 18-19.
Allmendinger will drive the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet at the two-mile superspeedway as he looks to close the season with a strong finish in his return to open-wheel racing in 2013.
“I’m looking forward to racing the IZOD Chevy in the INDYCAR season finale,” said Allmendinger, who will make his sixth IZOD IndyCar Series start for Team Penske this season when he takes the green flag in the 500-mile MAVTV 500 on Saturday evening, October 19. “It’s always a great opportunity to compete for Team Penske and I had great time and a solid result racing the IZOD car in the last 500-mile race back in May at the Indianapolis 500. Hopefully, we can close out the season with another good finish for Team Penske and for Chevrolet.”
Allmendinger will join Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Will Power to give the team a strong three-car lineup for the final race of a memorable 2013 season. Castroneves will compete for the series title as he trails rival Scott Dixon by 25 points entering the race at Auto Club Speedway. Power, winner of two of the last four series races, will try to close out the season with another victory.
“AJ has been a good addition to our team this season and he was terrific racing the IZOD Chevrolet in the Indianapolis 500,” said Roger Penske. “With his experience racing on the Auto Club Speedway oval in the past we believe he will be very competitive as we try and end the season with a strong result for Team Penske.”
Chevrolet enters the last race of the 2013 season tied with Honda in the IZOD IndyCar Series manufacturer’s championship. Each engine supplier has produced nine victories on the season so the winner at Auto Club Speedway will claim the series manufacturer’s title.
Allmendinger joined the Team Penske program this season as he returned to his open-wheel racing roots. The 31-year-old native of Los Gatos, Calif., has raced at Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach, the Indianapolis 500 and the series doubleheader at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park this season.
After rising up through the open-wheel ranks, Allmendinger emerged as a young star in the Champ Car World Series posting five wins and 14 podium finishes from 2004-06. He transitioned to stock car racing full-time in 2007 and he has enjoyed a solid career in NASCAR over the past seven seasons. The opportunity with Team Penske emerged during the offseason as the team was looking for a third driver to work with Castroneves and Power during select events in 2013. Allmendinger’s top result this season came at the Indy 500 where he qualified fifth, led 23 laps and secured a seventh-place finish in his first experience competing in the “greatest spectacle in racing.” In addition to his time with Team Penske in IndyCar, Allmendinger has earned two victories while competing with Penske Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season.