Crew chief Chad Walter, left, and Sam Hornish Jr., talk during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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Penske Racing announced today that Defiance native Sam Hornish, Jr., will replace AJ Allmendinger on the Sprint Cup Series.
In a statement released this afternoon, Penske Racing said it had released Allmendinger from his contract, eight days after NASCAR suspended Allmendinger indefinitely for failing a random drug test. Allmendinger tested positive for an amphetamine.
"AJ is a terrific driver, a good person and it is very unfortunate that we have to separate at this time. We have invested greatly in AJ and we were confident in his success with our team. The decision to dismiss him is consistent with how we would treat any other Penske Racing team member under similar circumstances."
Hornish will drive the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge in this weekend's Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., after finishing 16th Sunday at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. Hornish is currently fourth in the Nationwide Series drivers points standings, behind leader Elliott Sadler.