Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Allmendinger To Drive In Brickyard Grand Prix At Indy

AJ is a GRAND AM winner
Columbus, Ohio-based GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series owner Michael Shank announced today that AJ Allmendinger will race for Michael Shank Racing in the Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway July 26. Allmendinger will share the driving duties in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley with Gustavo Yacaman, the 2012 Colombian Driver of the Year.  

Allmendinger has experience with Michael Shank Racing that stretches back to 2006, when he joined the squad for a run to the Rolex 24 At Daytona podium for a runner-up result, teamed with Ozz Negri and Mark Patterson.  

“I am really looking forward to having AJ race with us again and hopefully he can have the same kind of magic at the Speedway that he’s always had for us at Daytona,” said Shank. “Gus (Yacaman) has continued to adapt to racing in GRAND-AM and we are excited to have him teaming with guys like AJ and Justin (Wilson).”  

The return to Rolex Series competition for Allmendinger continues a swirl of activity in 2013 that has seen the native Californian racing in IZOD IndyCar Series competition as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup, with a road course debut in Nationwide competition netting a breakthrough victory in June.  

“It has been a really busy summer, but I am grateful for every opportunity I get,” said Allmendinger, who will be experiencing both the full oval in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition as well as the road course configuration during the Brickyard Grand Prix weekend. “I love racing for Mike (Shank) so I am really looking forward to the weekend. It is going to be a little weird to be going through Turn 1 one way, and then going through it the other way later in the day but I think it is going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we can get Mike (Shank) another trophy.” 

Yacaman moved to GRAND-AM full time in 2013 after establishing a winning record of success in Indy Lights competition, partnered with Antonio Pizzonia in the opening rounds of the season as the duo netted a best finish of fourth at the Circuit of the Americas.  Sponsorship challenges saw Michael Shank Racing revise the driver line up, and Justin Wilson joined the team to co-drive with Yacaman at Watkins Glen on the way to a sixth place result.

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