Penske says it has no doubts about rehiring AJ Allmendinger

Penske team president Tim Cindric says the squad has no qualms about bringing AJ Allmendinger back into the fold after his 2012 drugs test failure

Penske says it has no doubts about rehiring AJ Allmendinger

Allmendinger has been hired to drive Penske's third IndyCar entry at Barber Motorsports Park and the Indianapolis 500.

The 31-year-old American moved to NASCAR in 2006 after a successful Champ Car career, only to be suspended last year for failing a drugs test while racing for Penske's Sprint Cup squad.

He has been reinstated after completing NASCAR's road to recovery programme and returned to Cup with Phoenix Racing before getting the Penske IndyCar chance.

"We were pretty close to this whole situation," said Cindric. "When you look at it, you take calculated risks in this business every day, and for us, [AJ] is not really a risk.

"We look at it and say, if you're sitting in his shoes and you've gone down the road to recovery... the only other road is a dead end.

"I feel like Roger [Penske] has always been a loyal guy; he's always been someone who has been there for anybody.

"At the end of the day, the worst thing that can come out of it is that we get another driver."

Allmendinger, who tested with the team at Sebring recently, will join next week's open test at Barber, and is also expected to have an oval test ahead of Indy.

"I've been told I'm not supposed to hit the brake at the end of the [Indy] straight now, like I do in the stock car!" Allmendinger joked. "So the first challenge will be to hold my foot down...

"But it's just the challenge of not having been in one of these cars in seven years. It's a lot different. Just from when I tested at Sebring, there is a lot that was different to what I remember, and a lot of work will go into that.

"Luckily we'll have the test coming up at Barber and then the race at Barber, and while that is not an oval, it is time to get used to the car. And we'll have an oval test somewhere.

"So we'll be prepared as much as possible, and I'll be prepared as much as I can. Fortunately for me, I have a lot of great people in this organisation that will be there to help."

From the AUTOSPORT archive: Paul Tracy's no-nonsense view on then-team-mate Allmendinger leaving Champ Car for IndyCar in 2006

shares
comments
AJ Allmendinger firms up IndyCar plans with Penske

Previous article

AJ Allmendinger firms up IndyCar plans with Penske

Next article

Helio Castroneves calls for IndyCar calendar revamp

Helio Castroneves calls for IndyCar calendar revamp
Load comments
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard? Plus

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 27, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Plus

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there?

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Plus

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
How Herta's aversion to complacency spells bad news for his IndyCar rivals Plus

How Herta's aversion to complacency spells bad news for his IndyCar rivals

Colton Herta's dominant IndyCar win on the streets of St. Petersburg confirmed what rivals have long-suspected - that the second-generation racer is destined for stardom. But it was Herta's comments afterwards that gave perhaps the most interesting insight into a driver that will be around for a long time to come

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival? Plus

How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? DAVID MALSHER-LOPEZ investigates Palou's potential

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021