by Ryan Isley
There is a popular saying that goes something like this – when God closes a door, he opens a window. For NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger, it may have been reversed – God closed a window but opened a door.
After the 2011 NASCAR season, Allmendinger’s primary sponsor at Richard Petty Racing – Best Buy – left the team to go to Roush Fenway Racing, leaving Allmendinger and the No.43 car without a sponsor for 2012. Within a few days, Allmendinger found himself with the keys to the No.22 Shell Oil Company/Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing.
The ride became available after Penske separated itself from Kurt Busch when the driver’s rant against ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch went viral on YouTube. It was the second time in the season that Busch had gone out of control against a member of the media, as he had a confrontation with Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press just two months earlier.