AJ Allmendinger is making his return into the racing world after failing a random drug test by NASCAR last summer. Since the failed drug test AJ has driven for Phoenix Racing in a limited number of starts, including more scheduled this up coming season, ran for Michael Shank Racing in the Rolex 24 and will now get a chance to drive an IndyCar for Penske Racing.
After being let go by Penske Racing for the failed drug test, many thought he would never drive for Penske again. Roger Penske, owner of Penske Racing, is giving Allmendinger that second chance. Allmendinger will test one of Penkse’s IndyCars at Sebring later this month.
If all goes well from the test session, Penske will give Allmendinger the opportunity to race the IndyCar this season. Allmendinger could potentially race at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7.
Allmendinger told FOX Sports by phone, “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. There are so many great things about getting back in a car for Roger. I can’t begin to explain what it means that he believes in me enough to give me another chance. There’s no pressure with this test, but I’ll put the pressure on myself.”
“But just getting back in a Roger Penske car after everything that happened means the world to me. I’ll cherish it even more that it’s a Penske car. The fact that Roger believes in me just means the world to me. That he put his faith back in me is amazing.”If all goes according to plan and sponsorship can be found, Allmedinger will also run at Long Beach to prepare for a possible ride in the Indy 500.”
The comeback story of AJ Allmendinger is still being written and this chapter with Penske Racing could define if Allmendinger is truly ready to recommit 100% to racing once again.
All indications from Allmendinger and his competitors is that he will do whatever it takes to be in a competitive race car once again. The new opportunity with the team that originally let him go after the failed drug test, Penkse Racing, is just another example that Allmendinger is committed and here to stay.