A.J Allmendinger has been released from his Penske Racing contract. Allmendinger failed a random drug test on July 7th and was suspended temporarily for races at Daytona and Loudon. His “B” sample was tested and also came back positive only days prior to the race at Indianapolis Motor speedway. Allmendinger was indefinitely suspended upon the results by NASCAR. Sam Hornish Jr. drove the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge for the those races and will also be in the car for this weekends race at Pocono.
After a conversation between team owner Roger Penske and Allmendinger it was announced that the two would part ways.
Allmendinger is taking part in NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” but the timetable for reinstatement is uncertain.
The following was posted on Penske Racing’s website.
Penske Racing announced today that AJ Allmendinger has been released as driver of the No. 22 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series. Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR last week for a positive drug test.
“Penske Racing fully supports NASCAR’s substance abuse policy and we are disappointed with AJ’s positive drug test results,” said Roger Penske. “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. The decision to dismiss him is consistent with how we would treat any other Penske Racing team member under similar circumstances. As AJ begins NASCAR’s ‘Road to Recovery’ program, we wish him the best and look forward to seeing him compete again in NASCAR.”
Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the No. 22 Dodge at Pocono this weekend and for the foreseeable future.
Penske Racing will evaluate its options for a driver of the No. 22 car for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
The following was posted on Allmendinger’s website.
“Effective today, I have been released from Penske Racing as driver of the No. 22 Dodge Charger. 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. 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.”
Almendinger signed a one year deal with Penske Racing this past winter. The 30 year old driver ran 17 races in the No. 22 Dodge this season. He recorded a top five and three top ten finishes. He won the pole at Kansas.
(Photo Source: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America)