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Allmendinger’s Next Opportunity

June 1, 2013 Comments off

A.J. Allmendinger finished seventh in Sunday's Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. His next opportunity will be racing for Penske in NASCAR. (Credit:  USA Today)

A.J. Allmendinger finished seventh in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. His next opportunity will be racing for Penske in NASCAR. (Credit: USA Today)

A.J. Allmendinger steps out of a Roger Penske machine after finishing seventh Sunday in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 wondering what will be his next opportunity in racing.

The 31-year-old Allmendinger has dipped his helmet in different series throughout his 2013 racing season including the IZOD IndyCar Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. An offering he was not positive he would ever receive after his NASCAR suspension due to the use of banned substances, Adderall, in 2012 while driving for Penske.

Opportunities materialized for Allmendinger this season in open-wheel and stockcar racing. In NASCAR’s premier series, he has made the most of his chances in James Finch’s No. 51 Chevrolet with an average finish of 13.5 and worst finish of 16th.

His IndyCar performance is highly anticipated after his successful finishes of five wins in 2006 in Champ Car, but his best finish was at Indianapolis after leading 23 laps.

The rookie’s first race at Indianapolis was impressive on many accounts. He was forced to pit twice off-sequence mid-race due to a possible flat tire, and later in the race due to his racing-belts coming loose. Rallying to a seventh place finish was a success.

“With seven or eight laps to go, I thought we still had a shot to win it,” Allmendinger said. “We had just passed three or four cars the lap before and I thought we were right there. But we just didn’t have enough at the end. It was a great experience, but I really thought our car was good enough all day.”

It was not until earlier this morning that it was announced of Allmendinger’s future plans for Penske. Prior to the Indianapolis 500, he noted this could be his “last chance” and needing to make the most of it. But Penske released today Allmendinger will drive the No.22 Nationwide Series car at the road course events at Road America and Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course.

”There’s nothing I could do to come even close to repaying him,” Allmendinger said. ”So, I just try to give everything I’ve got and hopefully it’s enough.”

Allmendinger is not in a car this weekend at Dover in NASCAR, but is racing in Detroit’s grand prix in IndyCar, but look for him to only accept a competitive ride in IndyCar or NASCAR. His best option is to have a chance to win, but he has a different opinion.

“I’ve always really enjoyed the road course racing in NASCAR, so to get the opportunity to compete in two events in the Nationwide Series with Penske Racing is amazing,” Allmendinger said. ”I’m just happy to have the opportunity to drive something.”

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Merry Christmas ‘Dinger

December 21, 2011 Comments off

A.J. Allmendinger's future becomes much more clearer with the announcement to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing in 2012. Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Penske Racing has announced their driver for the 2012 NASCAR season in the No. 22 – A.J. Allmendinger.

Allmendinger, 30, was released by Richard Petty Motorsports a few weeks ago, and was one of a few drivers to be in the hunt to replace Kurt Busch at Penske. In a time where quality NASCAR rides are rare and rides with full sponsorship are far worse than sparse.

The No. 22 is sponsored by Shell-Pennzoil and is one of the few full-season sponsored teams in NASCAR. Allmendinger will fit into the product that is Penske Racing, and it adds to young, talented caliber team of Brad Keselowski.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to join Penske Racing and drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in 2012,” Allmendinger said in a statement. “I have always admired Roger Penske and the way his teams compete and win in every series where they race.”

Winning is what is most important to Allmendinger, a driver who is on the cusp of his first victory in NASCAR’s elite series, and owner Roger Penske is ready for his team to succeed next season.

“AJ 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 (Gordon) 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.”

Here is the statement from Shell-Pennzoil:

“Shell and Pennzoil are extremely pleased by Penske Racing’s selection of AJ Allmendinger to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge. AJ has consistently demonstrated great potential and continuous improvement as a driver, and with Penske’s track record, our employees and customers can look forward to seeing him contending for wins and ultimately a championship in the NASCAR Cup Series. We know he will represent our brands well on and off the track and we look forward to a successful 2012 with AJ behind the wheel.”

– Lisa Davis, president of Shell Oil Products U.S.

Merry Christmas Allmendinger, we all know this is stress lifted off your shoulders.

BAJA Sports: What is happening in the auto racing world

December 18, 2011 Comments off

A.J. Allmendinger was released from his duties for the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports. Will Kurt Busch take over for the Best Buy sponsored Ford? Credit: Getty Images

NASCAR:

Richard Petty Motorsports has released A.J. Allmendinger from his duties in the famous No. 43 Ford Fusion. Allmendinger, 30, was the top driver for RPM in 2011, where he finished 15th in points after being on the cusp of the Chase drivers.

Allmendinger will find one of the hardest times to secure a ride for the upcoming season. After being released in 2009 by Red Bull Racing, he quickly was signed by RPM. In this case, it will be much tougher to find a ride for the driver who never was outside the top-18 in points for his second year with RPM.

RPM now is in the hunt, and, most likely, is the top-dog for former Penske Racing driver Kurt Busch. Keeping Best Buy as a sponsor at RPM is the most important factor for their company and Kurt Busch will be the driver who can fulfill Best Buy’s needs by getting much exposure and wins.

Tony Stewart, 2011 Sprint Cup Series champion, was voted the Driver of the Year award for the second time in his career, receiving 15 votes. Last won in 2005, Stewart, 40, beat runner-up in Cup points Carl Edwards, IndyCar’s Dario Franchitti, NHRA’s Del Worsham and World of Outlaw’s Jason Meyers who all received one vote.

The biggest surprise is why Sebastian Vettel, 2011 Formula 1 champion, didn’t receive one vote? Vettel, 24, was the top driver in his series without doubt with 11 victories in 19 events. His closest competitor was Jenson Button finishing 122 points behind eventual winner Vettel.

The IZOD IndyCar Series released the initial findings to Dan Wheldon's fatal accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. IndyCar will not return to Las Vegas in 2012 but with a possibly in 2013. Credit: Zimbio.com

IZOD IndyCar Series:

Dan Wheldon’s fatal accident investigation is over, and IndyCar has released its initial findings behind the lap 12 wreck that involved 15 cars in the season finale race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Wheldon who died at the age of 33 was survived by his wife and two sons.

IndyCar has announced their plan not to return to Las Vegas in 2012 and had to pay their way out of the contract with a possible return in 2013. A third party independent firm was brought in to investigate the findings of the accident.

The 49-page report released by IndyCar says Wheldon was airborne for 325 feet before making contact with the SAFER barrier then the catchfence. He struck a pole on the outside of the fencing where the pole intruded the cockpit and hit the driver in the head. According to the findings, Wheldon his head twice, and the first blow was not enough to injure a driver normally. The second hit produced non-survivable injuries.

Formula 1 will race in Austin in 2012. The race weekend is set for Nov. 16-18. Credit: Mechanikong.com

Formula 1:

The United States will host a grand prix race for F1 in 2012. The Austin race has been announced it will be on the schedule in the upcoming season and has been granted a webpage on formula1.com. Its page shows a diagram of the 3.4-mile circuit. The date is set for Nov. 16-18; however, some information has yet to be released such as practice, qualifying and many other times.

The guess for number of laps is likely to be around 56, which is about 190 miles around the Circuit of the Americas.

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