News & Media


Allmendinger to drive Penske No. 22 Dodge for '12

December 21, 2011, Team Release, NASCAR.com

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Penske Racing has named .AJ. Allmendinger as the driver of the team's No. 22 Dodge for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series.

Allmendinger, who has competed in the Cup Series since 2007 ,finished 15th in the Cup Series standings in 2011. The 30-year-old native of Los Gatos, Calif., earned one top-five, 10 top-10 and 22 top-15 results while driving the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Allmendinger finished 15th in the Cup standings driving the No. 43 for RPM in 2011.

"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 produced two wins, three poles and 16 top-10 finishes in 2011 as it earned a spot in the Chase and finished 11th in the series standings. Allmendinger will be paired with crew chief Todd Gordon, who led the Penske Racing No. 22 Nationwide Series team to six victories last season and was named last week as the new chief of the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge.

"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."

Allmendinger honed his skills in the open-wheel racing ranks. After winning the Barber Dodge Pro Series title in 2002 and the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2003, he earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Champ Car World Series in 2004. He posted five wins and finished third in the 2005 Champ Car World Series before making the switch to NASCAR. He first competed in the Cup Series in 2007 and he's earned 26 top-10 finishes in less than five Cup Series seasons. Allmendinger has finished inside the top 20 in points in each of the past two seasons.