Team Penske has won all three of the IZOD IndyCar Series races at Barber Motorsports Park (Will Power in 2011 and '12; Helio Castroneves in 2010). That provides AJ Allmendinger with the knowledge that the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske car he'll drive in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 7 is capable of winning on the road course.
"I have high expectations of myself and I don't want to go out there and waste anyone's time and (team owner) Roger (Penske's) money. I want to go out there and be up front from the start," he said. "There's a fine line, though, of having lofty expectations and realistic expectations."
Allmendinger, who won five races in Champ Car from 2004-'06, has tested in the Chevrolet-powered car three times in the past seven weeks. Last week, he went through the paces of a rookie oval orientation at Texas Motor Speedway as a prelude to the Rookie Orientation Program on April 11 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 26.
No other IZOD IndyCar Series races are scheduled beyond Indianapolis, but Allmendinger hopes that will change: "I've told Roger I'd love to do as many races as possible.
"To go to Barber and think I'm going to win the race – that's what I hope to do and what I want to do – but it's about having realistic expectations, get all the laps in, get better as the weekend goes on. If I feel like I'm competitive at the end of the weekend – where ever that puts me in the finishing order – and I feel like I'm a lot better than when I started I'll be happy."