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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.”

Keselowski and Penske Win First Sprint Cup Championship

November 18, 2012 Comments off

After 400 miles Sunday and 35 prior races during the 2012 season, Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship by 39 points over Clint Bowyer.

A final race leading by 20 points, Keselowski was the underdog of the year to beat five-time champion Jimmie Johnson. Johnson would finish 36th after a drivetrain issue with under 50 laps remaining.
Jeff Gordon would win the season finale while Bowyer would finish second.

Keselowski’s average finish at Homestead was 20.2, but he needed to finish 15th or better to clinch for his and team owner Roger Penske’s first Cup championship. The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge would finish 15th.
Dodge’s final race wins the championship before the manufacturer leaves the NASCAR as Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford will remain as the three manufacturers in 2013.

Penske Racing will make the transition to Ford next season and use Roush-Fenway engines despite using their own engine program for years. Dodge retains its championship form since Richard Petty’s title in 1975.

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.

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