Another long awaited update to this situation is now upon us…according to www.jayski.com A.J. Almendinger is now officially hired at Penske Racing to drive the #22 Shell Penzoil Dodge which was previously driven by Kurt Busch. Also, according to www.jayski.com, word has it that David Ragan is headed to Richard Petty Motorsports to drive the #43 Ford.
Rumors floating around that A.J. Allmendinger could be headed to the #22 Penske Dodge and David Ragan to the #43 RPM Ford. If true Allmendinger moves over from the #43 RPM ride and Ragan moves from the sponsorless possibly closed up #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.(12-21-2011)
AJ Allmendinger will be named the driver of the #22 Sprint Cup car at Penske Racing on Wednesday, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com. Allmendinger finished 15th in points this past season driving the No. 43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports. He became available after RPM lost primary sponsor Best Buy to Roush Fenway Racing. Allmendinger will replace 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch, who reached a “mutual” agreement to leave Penske Racing after a 2011 season in which he had several profanity-laced run-ins with the media and his team. He was picked over David Ragan, who interviewed with the Dodge team and sponsor Shell Pennzoil shortly after Busch was released. Ragan could be a candidate for the 43. He also could drive for Phoenix Racing, with which he had a tentative agreement before pursuing the 22.(ESPN)(12-21-2011)
Penske Racing has named AJ Allmendinger as the driver of the team’s #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger, who has competed in the Cup Series since 2007, is coming off a strong season that saw him finish 15th in the series standings while battling for a position in the Chase for the Championship. The 30-year-old native of Los Gatos, Calif., earned one top-five, 10 top-10 and 22 top-15 results in 2011 while driving the #43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.
“AJ is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team,” said Roger Penske. “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.”
“Shell and Pennzoil are extremely pleased by Penske Racing’s selection of AJ Allmendinger to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge,” said Lisa Davis, President of Shell Oil Products U.S. “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.”(Penske Racing)(12-21-2011)
There’s just one piece missing from this puzzle. Where will Kurt Busch end up if Petty is no longer interested in him? I suppose he still has options. Hopefully he will find something for 2012.
“A Penske Christmas”
“Kurt Busch Is Still A Good Hire”
“Options For Kurt Busch: Sponsorship Shuffle”
“Options For Kurt Busch: Optimistic”
“Options For Kurt Busch: Maybe Richard Childress Racing?”
“Options For Kurt Busch: Maybe Richard Petty Motorsports?”
“Options For Kurt Busch: Maybe Joe Gibbs Racing?”
“Options For Kurt Busch: Maybe Earnhardt Ganassi Racing?”
“Kurt Busch To Talk Racing With James Finch”
“Options For Kurt Busch: Maybe Phoenix Racing?”
“Options For Kurt Busch: Maybe TRG?”
“Pundit-ing The Possibilities”
“Future Might Not Be Totally Bleak For Kurt Busch”
“Kurt Busch And Penske Racing Mutually Part Ways”
“David Ragan To Replace Kurt Busch”
“Here’s Hoping This Is A Rumor: Kurt Busch Possibly Fired”
“What’s Next For Kurt Busch?”