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Allmendinger moves to Penske Racing for 2012

AJ Allmendinger is to move to Penske Racing in 2012, taking over the #22 Shell/Pennzoil car vacated by Kurt Busch at the beginning of the month.
AJ Allmendinger has won the battle to replace Kurt Busch in the Penske Racing #22 Shell/Pennzoil car, it was announced today.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to join Penske Racing,” said Allmendinger. “I have always admired Roger Penske and the way his teams compete and win in every series where they race."

"AJ is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team,” said team owner Roger Penske. “He has shown great promise and consistent results on the track over the last few seasons."

Allmendinger has been racing in the #43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports since 2009 and had his most successful season in NASCAR so far in 2011, ending the year in 15th position with ten top-ten finishes, but a lack of sponsors for 2012 had left his seat at RPM in the balance after the end of the season.

"It is a privilege for me to represent such iconic and respected brands as Shell and Pennzoil, AAA and Dodge," said Allmendinger of his new team's sponsors. "I am honoured to join Penske Racing and I will do my very best to continue to build on the standard of excellence established across the organization.”

The driver deal also had the backing of the primary car sponsors, who had been growing increasingly unhappy with bad publicity arising from Kurt Busch during 2011.

"Shell and Pennzoil are extremely pleased by Penske Racing's selection of AJ Allmendinger to drive the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge," said the President of Shell Oil Products US, Lisa Davis. "AJ has consistently demonstrated great potential and continuous improvement as a driver, and with Penske's track record, our employees and customers can look forward to seeing him contending for wins and ultimately a championship ... We look forward to a successful 2012 with AJ behind the wheel."

Busch left Penske at the beginning of December "by mutual agreement" after a series of controversial incidents for the driver that culminated with him being caught on video verbally abusing ESPN's pit lane reporter at Homestead-Miami at the season finale in November, following a frustrating technical failure and early retirement from the race after just four laps.

Since Busch exited Penske, several drivers without a confirmed 2012 seat have been keen to take over the #22 car, with the initial favourite seeming to be David Ragan whose time at Roush Fenway Racing similarly came to an end because of lack of sponsorship funds. Brian Vickers, Sam Hornish Jr. and David Reutimann had also been said to be in contention for the ride.




Related Pictures

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AJ Allmendinger`s day ends early as engine trouble forces him out of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks on Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. [Picture Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
AJ Allmendinger with his team boss, the legendary Richard Petty. [Photo credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR]
AJ Allmendinger at New Hampshire. [Photo credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR]
AJ Allmendinger speaking at Richmond. [Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Harrelson Photography]
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualified for seventh position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates with the chequered flag at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates in victory lane at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose lead the field to a restart at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger leads Marcos Ambrose at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates with a burnout after winning at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger takes the chequered flag to win at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates in victory lane at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates in victory lane at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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RK - Unregistered

December 22, 2011 12:29 AM

Good move for Penske, the kid has some class and the ability to win. No more embarassment form a Busch idiot, now if Gibbs will grow a set and move on from the other idiot he can show a little calss.



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