Penske releases AJ Allmendinger from #22 ride
Penske Racing has announced that it has released AJ Allmendinger from its NASCAR squad, effective immediately.
In a brief statement on Wednesday, Penske Racing confirmed his dismissal for testing positive to an undisclosed stimulant earlier this month.
Team owner Roger Penske said he was disappointed with letting Allmendinger go, but is pleased to see him involved in NASCAR’s ‘Road to Recovery’ program, aimed at assisting substance users.
“Penske Racing fully supports NASCAR’s substance abuse policy and we are disappointed with AJ’s positive drug test results,” said Penske in a statement.
“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.”
In a separate statement, Allmendinger confirmed his sacking.
“Effective today, I have been released from Penske Racing as driver of the No. 22 Dodge Charger,” he said.
“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 apologise 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.”
Sam Hornish Jr will continue as Allmendinger’s short-term replacement and will compete in his fourth-consecutive race in the car at Pocono this weekend. A permanent replacement has yet to be secured.