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Allmendinger moves to Penske Racing for 2012

Penske had previously announced that their former Nationwide Series crew chief Todd Gordon had been selected to replace Steve Addington as the crew chief on the #22 car. Addington left Penske to join Stewart-Haas Racing following the end of the season.

"Working with Todd and the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team will allow [AJ] to take the next step and compete for race wins and a spot in the Chase in 2012," said Penske.

The news of Allmendinger's move to Penske followed Tuesday's announcement that Richard Petty Motorsports had lost their sponsorship from Best Buy for the #43 car. The electrical retailer has instead decided to become the primary sponsor of Matt Kenseth's #17 car for nine races as well as primary sponsor for the #99 of Carl Edwards for a further two races in 2012. In addition, Best Buy will serve as an associate sponsor for each car during the season.

"We are extremely pleased to announce this partnership with Best Buy," said Roush Fenway Racing co-owner Jack Roush about the news. "We feel it is a great fit with our organization and we look forward to a great partnership together."

Roush Fenway needed to sign additional sponsor after losing the full-season backing of whisky brand Crown Royal from Kenseth's car. The organisation still needs to find additional sponsorship for Kenseth for the remaining 27 races of the 2012 Cup season.

Addressing the loss of the Best Buy backing, Richard Petty himself said in a statement that it was "very disappointing that Best Buy is changing directions at this late date, [but] we wish all of our friends there the best in their future endeavours."

Petty had indicated on Tuesday that despite the disappointing news about Best Buy, he still hoped that RPM would continue to be a two-car team in 2012 and would still be fielding the #43 car. However, Wednesday's news that Allmendinger had been released from his contract and was departing for Penske may indicate that this might not prove to be feasible, although the team was quick to say that they were still considering all their options.

“Richard Petty Motorsports has released AJ Allmendinger to pursue other opportunities within the sport,” team Chief Executive Officer Brian Moffitt said in a statement. “AJ is a talented driver whom we all enjoyed working with and we wish him the best.”

“Our plan remains to run a two-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012 and we are continuing down that path,” Moffitt added. “We believe there are several very talented drivers who are still available and would embrace the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the legendary #43 Ford Fusion. We continue to move forward and are optimistic about the future of this race team.”

Rumours last week that RPM were courting Kurt Busch to take the wheel of the #43 were based on the assumption that the team were trying to persuade Best Buy to stay with the team by offering them a former Cup championship winner driving for their brand. With Best Buy's defection, RPM may not have the necessary funds or motivation to continue with a serious approach to Busch.




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]
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)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/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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