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Penske gives Allmendinger a chance in Nationwide

NASCAR.com

For the first time since a failed drug test cost him a Sprint Cup ride last year, AJ Allmendinger will be in a stock car for Penske Racing.

Allmendinger, who has been participating in a part-time schedule with the Team Penske IndyCar program, will drive the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in two NASCAR Nationwide Series road-course events, June 22 at Road America and Aug. 17 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"I've always really enjoyed the road-course racing in NASCAR, so to get the opportunity to compete in two events in the Nationwide Series with Penske Racing is amazing," Allmendinger said.

Allmendinger lost his ride in the No. 22 Sprint Cup Series car for Penske last year because of the failed drug test. Suspended by NASCAR, Allmendinger completed the sanctioning body's Road to Recovery program and has competed in four Cup races in the No. 51 for Phoenix Racing. His best finish this season was 11th in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

"He is a great talent on road courses and has been doing a great job for Team Penske already this year in the IZOD IndyCar Series," team owner Roger Penske said. "With his stock car experience and his road-course experience, we think this is the perfect opportunity for him and for the team."

Allmendinger has eight career starts in the Nationwide Series, the last coming in 2008 in Phoenix. 

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