The car that won at both Road America and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 was the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford, wheeled both times by AJ Allmendinger in his year of racing various types of machinery.
The task is left to Alex Tagliani to match that or come close this year, as the veteran Canadian steps back into a Team Penske Nationwide car for the first time since 2011, when he started and finished second in his home race of Montreal.
For Tagliani, the NASCAR Nationwide appearances come in a year when he’s also raced in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship full-time in the Prototype Challenge class, a one-off Indianapolis 500 appearance in the No. 68 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda, and also launched his own team in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series of Tagliani Autosport.
“It is an honor to drive for Team Penske, especially the No. 22 Mustang and to be representing a brand such as Discount Tire,” Tagliani said heading into the weekend. “I appreciate the confidence Team Penske and Discount Tire has, letting me drive the car for them in two road course races and I am very excited to have the chance to test and race with such a great team and group of guys. Jeremy Bullins is an amazing crew chief so we are looking to have some strong results at Road America.”
Strong results have occurred at Road America before – Tagliani won at Road America in Champ Car in 2004.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”