IndyCar Series

Allmendinger to drive for Penske in multiple IndyCar races

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - A.J. Allmendinger will drive for Team Penske in at least two IndyCar races this season, including the May 26 Indianapolis 500, the team announced on Friday.

Allmendinger, 31, is also scheduled to compete in the April 7 race at Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Ala. He will be behind the wheel of Penske's No. 2 entry, with IZOD serving as the team's primary sponsor. IZOD is also the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series.

Last month, Allmendinger tested for Penske at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. He is scheduled to participate in the IndyCar spring training test session at Barber next week.

Allmendinger drove for Penske in the Sprint Cup Series last year but lost his ride with the team after the first 17 races when he was suspended for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. NASCAR reinstated Allmendinger after he successfully completed its "Road to Recovery Program." He drove the No. 51 car for Phoenix Racing in four of the last six races last season.

"It is exciting to welcome A.J. back to Penske Racing," team owner Roger Penske said in a statement. "He obviously went through a tough time last year, but he has done everything he needed to in order to get back to racing at the top level of the sport. We have always believed in A.J. and his ability, and he deserves this opportunity. We think he will be a strong competitor this season in the IZOD IndyCar Series for Team Penske, and we look forward to racing with him in the IZOD car at Barber and at the Indianapolis 500."

Allmendinger has competed in open-wheel racing in the past. He raced in the Champ Car World Series from 2004-06, earning five wins and 14 podium appearances as well as claiming two poles. Allmendinger also won the Barber Dodge Pro Series title in 2002 and captured the Toyota Atlantic Series championship the following year.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back to my roots and racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series," Allmendinger said. "I think it's every driver's dream to race for Team Penske at the Indy 500, and that experience is going to be incredible."

Allmendinger is sharing driving duties with Regan Smith in the 51 car for Phoenix Racing during the 2013 Sprint Cup season. Allmendinger finished 11th last Sunday at Phoenix.

03/08 11:31:54 ET

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