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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 Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via 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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