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A.J. Allmendinger





Formerly Penske Racing, currently none




December 16, 1981

Rookie Season:

Entered Sprint Cup Series in 2007 with the Red Bull Racing team. A.J. was a rookie driver with a brand new team trying to tame a brand new car as this was also Toyota's first season in the Cup Series.

A.J. struggled as Toyota struggled. Both just trying to make the race each week to gain some valuable experience. Allmendinger ran 17 races in 2007 finishing with an average finish of 31.6.

Juan Pablo Montoya won Rookie of the Year honors that season with one win and a 20th place points effort.

Career Highlights:

  • 2004 - Champ Car Rookie of the Year
  • 2005 - Won five races and finished third in Champ Car series points
  • 2007 - First career Cup Series start (March Bristol race)
  • 2009 - Joined Richard Petty Motorsports
  • 2012 - Joined Penske Racing
  • 2012 - (July) Suspended from NASCAR for positive drug test
  • 2012 - (September) Reinstated after completing NASCAR's "Road to Recovery" program

Steep Hill To Climb:

A.J. Allmendinger has been a winner in many different racing series. However he came to NASCAR with very little experience in full-bodied cars. This situation was made even more difficult because he came into NASCAR driving for a brand new team and a brand new manufacturer as both Toyota and Team Red Bull were also rookies in 2007.

In 2009 he left RedBull to race for Richard Petty. His performance continued to improve as he finished 24th, 19th and 15th in the points during his three years with The King.

Allmendinger spent the first five years of his career winless in Sprint Cup racing. In 2012 Allmendinger got the opportunity to replace Kurt Busch in the Penske #22 with solid sponsorship. A.J. jumped at the chance and seemed to be on the verge of his first career victory when a failed drug test derailed his breakout season.

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