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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.




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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]
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, serves a pass-through penalty for a restart violation during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series DAV 200 Honoring America`s Veterans at Phoenix International Raceway on November 14, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Gross/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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