Penske Hires Allmendinger
Allmendinger finished 15th in Sprint Cup standings for the 2011 season. The 30-year-old Los Gatos, Calif. native has been consistently inconsistent since coming to Sprint Cup in 2007. For Richard Petty Motorsports, Allmendinger has earned one top-five, 10 top-10 and 22 top-15 finishes.
"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."
The No. 22 Dodge team won twice, took three poles and finished in the top-10 sixteen times in 2011, earning a spot in the Chase and finishing eleventh for the season. Allmendinger’s crew chief will be Todd Gordon, who led the Penske Racing No. 22 Nationwide Series team to six wins in 2011.
"A.J. is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team," Roger Penske said. "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."
Brian Moffitt, CEO of RPM, wished Allmendinger the best and discussed the team's plans for 2012.
"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."