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RPM picks up Allmendinger for 2010
Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced on Friday that the team has exercised their contract option on AJ Allmendinger to drive for the team in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger is piloting the No. 44 Charter Communications Dodge for RPM in this Saturday’s Subway Fit Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

After establishing himself as a top talent in open wheel racing, Allmendinger made the move to race NASCAR full time in 2007 and is now in his third season of racing in Sprint Cup competition.

“The thing that I am most excited about is that we have all the pieces here to be a great team, and we know what we need to improve on,” said Allmendinger. “Now that we know were we are going to be next year, we can focus on the future and on building on this team together.”

After racing two different cars up into the top 35 in owners points in 2008, Allmendinger joined RPM to run a limited schedule in 2009. With strong his performances, and sponsorship support from Harrah’s and Hunt Brothers Pizza, that limited schedule has grown to include races through the Richmond event in September.

“Even though the team came together really late, we started the season off with a great Speedweeks,” said Allmendinger. “We looked at a lot of different options, and I was really flattered by some of the interest we had. But when we sat down with the team, the biggest thing we wanted to focus on was stability, and now we’ve got that. Now I can just concentrate on racing and on getting everything with this team up to the level you have to perform at to be a Chase contender. I’m really excited about this, and relieved to not have to be looking behind my back and worrying about the next week, the next month, and the next year.”

Since moving to stock car competition following a whirlwind streak of wins in Champ Car competition, Allmendinger’s career status has seen its own share of twists and turns.  But the fan favorite will no doubt relish the lack of distraction as he looks to continue  building on his career in the NASCAR ranks.

“There has been a lot of interest in AJ, and we’ve been presented with some great opportunities both in and outside the NASCAR garage,” said Walldinger Racing Vice-President Tara Ragan.  “But getting AJ into a competitive and stable environment has been the number one goal, so this is great news. Giving him the chance to just focus on this team and on racing week in and week out is this is a great development. He’s going to make the most of the opportunity, as he always does.”

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