Alex Tagliani to pilot No. 22 on road courses
May 06, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Tagliani's first Nationwide appearance this season will be June 21 at Road America
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Tagliani's first NASCAR Nationwide Series event of the season will be June 21 at Road America and will follow that up on August 16 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Sprint Cup Series regular AJ Allmendinger drove the No. 22 to Victory Lane last year at both Road America and Mid-Ohio.
"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.
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Tagliani has made a total of four Nationwide Series starts over the course of his racing career. Two came in 2009 and he also competed in one series race in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, Tagliani drove the No. 12 car for Team Penske at his home track in Montreal, where he started and finished second after leading for 11 laps.
"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."
Tagliani also won the pole at the Indianapolis 500 in 2011. In 2004, he took the checkered at Road America in the CART Series and has also won in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
The No. 22 team has seen much success this season with one win (Brad Keselowski at Las Vegas) and six top-five and eight top-10 finishes in the nine races so far this season with three different drivers behind the wheel (Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney).
"Whenever we can add someone with the racing resume of Alex to our long list of Discount Tire drivers, we are more than excited," Michael Zuieback, president of Discount Tire said. “We look forward to watching Team Penske drivers race the Discount Tire Ford and to getting to know Alex even better during the season. If Roger picks a driver to be in our car, we know he's going to be a top contender."