Allmendinger taking small steps in IndyCar debut

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — AJ Allmendinger walked to the dais after his first full day of practice and accidentally knocked over a chair.

He then quipped he was glad it wasn't his race car that he'd just wrecked.

Everything is a small victory for Allmendinger in this part-time return to open-wheel racing.

He's been given a second chance by Roger Penske after the team owner was forced last summer to fire Allmendinger from his NASCAR organization because of a failed random drug test.

But Penske's opportunity for Allmendinger is in the IndyCar Series, where Allmendinger will make his debut Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park.

It's a warm-up for next month's Indianapolis 500 for Allmendinger.

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