Tagliani To Run Road Courses For Penske

Alex Tagliani

Alex Tagliani, shown leading the field from the pole at Montreal in 2012, will drive two Nationwide races for Team Penske this season. (Photo: Getty Images)

Road racer Alex Tagliani will drive the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang for Team Penske in two 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series road course races, the team announced Tuesday.

Tagliani will compete for the team in the June 21 event at Road America and Aug. 16 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford won at both Road America and Mid-Ohio last season with AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel.

“This is a great opportunity to get back in a NASCAR Nationwide Series car and to do it for one of the best teams in the series and one of the greatest owners the sport has ever seen – Roger Penske,” Tagliani said. “I’ve been able to run for ‘The Captain’ one other time in my career in a stock car and we were so close to winning the race. This gives me two great chances to get my first Nationwide Series win. And with the team winning both of these races last year, I guess you could say the pressure is on me to get the job done this season.”

A native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Tagliani has made four Nationwide starts over the course of his racing career, which has included memorable performances in IndyCar, CART, Sports Cars, V8 Supercars and several other forms of motorsports. He made two Nationwide starts in 2009, and competed in one series race in both 2011 and 2012. In 2011, Tagliani drove the No. 12 car for Team Penske in his home race at Montreal, where he started second and finished second after leading 11 laps. In 2012, Tagliani won the pole at Montreal and finished 22nd. 

Tagliani also is a former Indianapolis 500 pole winner, taking the honor in 2011. He is a former winner at Road America as he took the checkered flag in the 2004 CART Series race. Tagliani has also won in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in his career.

“I have known Alex for a long time and he has driven for our team before, so he was the ideal choice to race the Discount Tire Ford for these upcoming road course events,” Penske said. “Alex is a proven winner in both open-wheel and stock car competition. He has competed for wins each of the last two times he has raced in the Nationwide Series, including with Team Penske back in 2011. I think he, (crew chief) Jeremy Bullins and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford team will be tough to beat at both Road America and Mid-Ohio this season.”

The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford team has a proven track record of success with whoever is behind the wheel. The team won 12 races last season with four different drivers en route to capturing the Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship. The team has already won once this season (Brad Keselowski at Las Vegas) and has earned six top-five and eight top-10 finishes in eight races thus far in 2014.

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