Posted Aug 1st 2012 6:00PM
You could see this one coming like the draft around the high banks at Talladega. Penske Racing gave beleaguered NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger his walking papers today, a week after the sanctioning body indefinitely suspended him for failing a drug test. Allmendinger is currently ranked 25th in the points in the series.
While neither Penske nor Allmendinger got into the details about the test, ESPN is reporting that amphetamines were found in the driver's testing sample, which was corroborated by Allmendinger's business manager. The doctor administrating NASCAR's drug testing program told ESPN that it wasn't likely that the test could have been caused by any supplements or over-the-counter medicine. Allmendinger has pledged to immediately begin NASCAR's Road to Recovery rehab program, which, if successfully completed, would allow him to be reinstated. Allmendinger's seat in the No. 22 Dodge has been handed to former Indy Car champion Sam Hornish Jr., who has long ties to the Penske Racing organization.
While we won't belabor you with any of team owner Roger Penske's canned statement wishing Allmendinger "the best," you can click here to read it in its entirety, along with Allmendinger's own release in which he thanks Penske Racing for "their support."
Penske Racing Statement on AJ Allmendinger
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.
Allmendinger Released From Penske Racing
Statement from AJ Allmendinger
"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."
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