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Allmendinger released by Penske Racing

AJ Allmendinger has exited Penske Racing, following his positive drugs test result for stimulants and his decision to enter NASCAR's 'road to recovery' program.
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger has been released by Penske Racing in the wake of his positive drugs test result last month.

Allmendinger is currently on indefinite suspension from all NASCAR competition following the drugs test result, and will remain so until he has undergone a mandatory 'road to recovery' rehabilitation program having waived his right of appeal over the test findings.

That's likely not to be before the end of the current season, and Allmendinger only had a one-year deal with Penske Racing in the #22 Shell-Pennzoil car.

"Penske Racing fully supports NASCAR's substance abuse policy and we are disappointed with AJ's positive drug test results," said Roger Penske in a statement released by the team on Wednesday. "The decision to dismiss him is consistent with how we would treat any other Penske Racing team member under similar circumstances."

Penske added: "AJ is a terrific driver, a good person and it is very unfortunate that we have to separate at this time. We have invested greatly in AJ and we were confident in his success with our team," he said. "As AJ begins NASCAR's 'Road to Recovery' program, we wish him the best and look forward to seeing him compete again in NASCAR."

In a separate statement, AJ Allmendinger acknowledged the decision and thanked the team for sticking by him during the testing process in July.

"Effective today, I have been released from Penske Racing as driver of the #22 Dodge Charger," he confirmed. "I wish to thank Mr. Penske, Penske Racing, their sponsors, and especially all the of the No. 22 team for the opportunity they provided me and for their support in this difficult time. I also, again, would like to thank all the fans that really have been awesome through this.

"I apologize for the distraction, embarrassment, and difficulties that my current suspension from NASCAR has provided," he added. "As I stated last week, I have begun NASCAR's Road to Recovery program and look forward to using those resources and its completion to compete again in NASCAR in the near future."

The news of his release from Penske Racing underlines just how difficult it will be for the 30-year-old to get back to full time competitive racing with a top team in the sport even after successfully undergoing the recovery program. Penske gave no indication that it would consider re-hiring Allmendinger in the future once he had served his suspension and finished his program.




Related Pictures

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Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, walks on the grid after NASCAR announced that AJ Allmendinger was temporarily suspended prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sam Hornish Jr. was Allmendinger replacement for the Coke Zero 400. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. (second from right) with the managers and drivers of Penske  Racing during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday in Concord, NC. AJ Allemendinger is to his right followed by Brad Keselowski. Team owner Roger Penske is second from left. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
AJ Allmendinger meets with the press at Pocono Raceway. (Poto Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)
AJ Allmendinger walking in pit lane after practice for the Sprint Cup event at Pocono. (Photo credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, races Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 29, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Martin Truex, Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Cheez-It Ford, pits during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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