Unlike his pre-BAR Honda F1 days, Jacques Villeneuve's NASCAR career has been strewn with potholes – and by "potholes" we mean crashes, mechanical failures and lowly finishes. But there have been a few successes, with third-place finishes at Montreal in 2010 and at Road America in 2011 – both road courses – and pole position at Montreal last year in the Nationwide Series.

Penske Racing is giving Villeneuve a chance to improve those placings, having offered the French-Canadian a drive in the #22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger for both of those races. Villeneuve subbed for regular Penske team driver Brad Keselowski during those two rounds in 2011, adding a 27th in Montreal to his third at Road America.

The adventure will give Villeneuve 12 NASCAR starts in the last five years, and having taken pole position at Montreal and been on the podium twice, it's not outrageous to figure he's in with a chance. "I feel, after winning the pole last year at Montreal," he said, "that we can have a lot of success. A NASCAR victory is something I want."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, don't forget that JV put his Unicef Toyota on 6th on the grid in Talladega in 2007, which was his only second or third race in Nascar (he elected to start last though as not to spoil the championship battle). He always had speed, even in the past few years (you don't finish second at Le Mans 24 by accident), what he misses is a regular drive.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Speed at Talladega is completely down to engine - the driver is practically ballast. Villeneuve has had speed at road courses, but he's shown some shocking judgement - crashes in most of his NASCAR road course outings where he usually took out the leader with him, as well as a pile-up he caused in Australian V8 Supercars while guesting at the 2010 Surfers Paradise race. The guys clearly has no problems sullying his reputation.
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's like an NASA Astronaut joining the North Korean rocket program.
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