Accroding to Reports, Former RPM driver AJ Allmendinger has been named the driver of the #22 Dodge for Penske Racing, NASCAR.com confirms. Contract details have not been disclosed.
There was speculation that that AJ Allmendinger was on the outs from Richard Petty Motorsports a few weeks back, and today’s news basically confirms it. Allmendinger is taking over the ride from Kurt Busch, who was fired over the profanity-laced tirade after the season finale at Homestead.
Both Allmendinger and Penske Racing have released statements to the news of Allmendinger’s arrival at Penske Racing.
AJ Allmendinger had this to say on the news.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to join Penske Racing and drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in 2012,” Allmendinger said. “I have always admired Roger Penske and the way his teams compete and win in every series where they race. It is a privilege for me to represent such iconic and respected brands as Shell and Pennzoil, AAA and Dodge. I am honored to join Penske Racing and I will do my very best to continue to build on the standard of excellence established across the organization.”
Roger Penske had this to say on Allmendinger.
“A.J. is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team. He has shown great promise and consistent results on the track over the last few seasons and working with Todd and the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team will allow him to take the next step and compete for race wins and a spot in the Chase in 2012.”
With AJ’s departure at Richard Petty Motorsports, RPM CEO Brian Moffitt had this to say regarding Allmendinger’s departure.
“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 said. “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 No. 43 Ford Fusion. We continue to move forward and are optimistic about the future of this race team.”
Response By Brandon Butler: The news of AJ Allemdinger’s departure from Richard Petty Motorsports doesn’t come as a surprise to me. With Best Buy going to Roush-Fenway Racing, AJ Allmendinger was basically in the same predicament as David Ragan (with lack of sponsorship costing them their rides). I am kindof surprised that Allmendinger beat out Ragan to take the #22 ride. Ragan has abit more experience than Allmendinger in the Sprint Cup Series, but I can see how there is potential for Allmendinger since he has been able to run well in each of his first 2-3 seasons in the Sprint Cup Series with Richard Petty Motorsports. Just like the MWR additions of Mark Martin and Martin Truex Jr, its going to be interesting to see if Allmendinger can perform well with his new team. 2012 will be interesting.
Response by Kristin Weaver: WOW! A.J. Allmendinger to Penske Racing. I’m in shock. Definitely didn’t see that coming. Guess it’s true, silly season is really just that, silly. Good for him though. He will be with a team that has great equipment and he will have a teammate in Keselowski that knowsn the ins and outs of NASCAR. It will be great to see what these new teammates can do together especially at Daytona and Talladega. I see great things for the ‘Dinger in 2012, including a win or two. Get ready NASCAR fans, the ‘Dinger is pumped and ready to win.