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 scroll down to read it in its entirety, along with Allmendinger's own release in which he thanks Penske Racing for "their support."
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Penske Racing Statement on AJ Allmendinger
August 1, 2012

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
August 1, 2012

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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Harry
      • 2 Years Ago
      Had high hopes but when you consider he butted heads and or burned bridges with Forsythe, Petty, and Penske, the body of work suggests a lost cause here. He had his supporters too. Too bad, he will now fade into the history books as there are too many low risk drivers with a heck of a lot more upside than AJ out there. What a waste.
      scott3
      • 2 Years Ago
      Time to stop the crap as no one here was set up. Roger is a example of high standards not only in buisness but in personal life. He got to where he is buy holding himself and others to a high standard. Todays race teams are at the level they are today because he set the standard years ago everyone is now expected to meet. Mayfield screwd up not just once but many times and still is a mess. Roger did not do that. Shane was a great talent and he screwed up too many times. He was on his way back and only was cut short by his accident. I have seen him screwed up and it was not anyone but his fault. Grubb was a mess and it finally ended him. Fike stated what he did and it was him that shot up not his owner. Just because you can drive a car well does not mean you are now a mess in your personal life. Some people can handle it some can't. The rules are there and they know it but they choose what they want more and pay the price. Racing is dangerous enough without someone on something on the track doing something that may kill themself or someone else.
      Claud
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Penske team wanted to get rid of him anyway...........They were way too quick to cut him.........If he had cocaine in his system or some other hard drug I might agree..........But amphetamines ??????????....... No way too quick!
        MONTEGOD7SS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Claud
        I would rather somebody test positive for opiates than amphetamines. You don't get much more life-ruining than meth.
          Claud
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MONTEGOD7SS
          Didn't say it was Meth..................just amphetamines!...................?????????????
        RGT881
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Claud
        Meth is not amphetamine. They may share few molecules, but certainly not the same. In any event, I feel for, he was always a go-getter and a great driver.
          Carma Racing
          • 2 Years Ago
          @RGT881
          Meth is short for methamphetamine. It falls under the classification of "amphetamines". Your statement "They may share few molecules" is inaccurate. They are each a specific molecule and both share an identical amphetamine structure, with methamphetamine having a methyl group attached to the nitrogen atom. Their physiological action is very similar also, with meth being a bit stronger.
          Agilis
          • 2 Years Ago
          @RGT881
          Guy above me wins this argumemt.
        dytimmys
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Claud
        We are going to see this more and more I think...Whats the easiest way to save yourself millions if you are a team owner ? ...Slip your driver something that will make him fail a blood test...Doctors have falsified records to patients who they don't want to see anymore but cannot legallystop seeing them without a vaid reason...Same here. Penske is business first, people probably rank somewhere around 9 or 10 in his top 10 list of priorities....Mayfield may have been set up, Shane Hmiel, Kevin Grubb, and Aaron Fike ...It's funny how all of those drivers are about the same when it comes to talent...Not really good enough to win a championship, but not good enough to release them from their contract without having to pay them whats due...Maybe the owners need to take lie detector test
          RGT881
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dytimmys
          Yes, it's kind of odd that former Penske drivers have been released under strange circumstances. Talking about Mayfield, Busch, Newman, Allmendinger. It's the #12 car curse which has transfered to #22. The only driver to ever survive Penske was Rusty Wallace.
      Brandon Allen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Must have been pot or meth because they'd keep him around if he only tested positive for SPEED. *rimshot