Penske Racing releases AJ Allmendinger

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aj allmendinger.jpg

Not surprisingly, Penske Racing announced yesterday that
they have officially released AJ Allmendinger after the driver was placed on
indefinite suspension for failing a pair of drag tests.  Allmendinger was suspended in early July when
he failed a drug test as part of NASCAR’s random drug testing program.  Under that system, samples are taken and then
split into two portions so if a test comes back positive – the driver can
request that the second portion be tested to ensure that the procedure was
completed properly.  Unfortunately for AJ
Allmendinger, his second test also came back positive which resulted in an immediate
suspension from NASCAR.

AJ Allmendinger issued a statement on the release, including
the following portion:
“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.”

AJ Allmendinger can be reinstated for completing the NASCAR “Road
to Recovery Program” and the young driver reportedly plans to begin the program
immediately.  However, that evidently was
not enough for Penske Racing as he has been fired from his position as the
driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Also, no driver who has been suspended for
violating the NASCAR drug policy has returned back to their former success.

“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.”

Now that AJ Allmendinger has officially received the boot,
NASCAR Nationwide Series regular Sam Hornish Jr will continue to drive the #22
Dodge Charger “for the foreseeable future” – likely meaning that Hornish will
at least finish the season behind the wheel of Allmendinger’s old ride.

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