NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger was fired from Penske Racing. Team owner Roger Penske announced Wednesday the decision to release Allmendinger after they met face-to-face on Tuesday.
In a statement Penske said “Penske Racing fully supports NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, and we are disappointed with AJ’s positive drug test results, 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.”
Penske has said his employees are subject to random drug testing and he has released employees who have tested positive in the past.
Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the #22 Dodge this weekend at Pocono Raceway and for the foreseeable future. Penske will evaluate its options for the 2013 season.
Allmendinger in a statement he released said.
“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.”
Allmendinger is the second Sprint Cup Series driver suspended under NASCAR’s tightened drug policy, Jeremy Mayfield was the first.
AJ Allmendinger, who has never won a Cup race in 169 starts, is 25th in the points standings with one top-five finish in his first season with Penske.