August 2, 2012- A failed drug test by A.J. Allmendinger cost the driver his job racing for Penske Racing. Roger Penske, the team owner, released Allmendinger from the team on Wednesday. The release came three weeks after Allmendinger had tested positive for an amphetamine that was banned by NASCAR. Officials from the team said they felt disappointed, but the test results from both samples were positive and left them no other choice.
Penske said AJ was a good person, a very good driver and it was quite unfortunate that he has to leave our team. He said Penske Racing had invested a great deal in the driver. Penske said his decision to release Allmendinger was consistent with what the team would do if any other driver were suspended for testing positive for a banned substance.
Replacing Allmendinger behind the wheel of his No.22 will be Sam Hornish Jr. this weekend at Pocono. The team said Hornish Jr. would drive the car until he becomes the permanent driver or the team opts for another driver in 2013.
Allmendinger apologized for what he did and thanked everyone on the team, especially Penske for all his support. He also apologized for creating a distraction and embarrassment for the team. The only way he can return to race in NASCAR is to complete their rehabilitation program. He said he would do that and would be competing again soon.