Alaskan musher Jim Lanier's dog team is all smiles during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A veteran dog sled racer plans to rejoin Alaska’s famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race this year, although he was forced to qualify under rules governing rookies. The Anchorage Daily News reported 79-year-old musher Jim Lanier of Chugiak was denied entry into the 2020 Iditarod in August because of his Iditarod performances in recent years. But he expects to be back at the starting line in March. Lanier will be the oldest musher in the field after re-qualifying for the race by completing a pair of 300-mile races this winter, the Kuskokwim 300 and the Willow 300.