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JGR stands behind Denny Hamlin in dispute with NASCAR

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Friday, Mar. 08, 2013

Joe Gibbs Racing on Friday released a statement that said the organization had been in contact with NASCAR officials about driver Denny Hamlin’s penalty but would keep those discussions private.

“We will fully support Denny in his appeal process,” the statement said.

Hamlin was fined $25,000 on Thursday by NASCAR for what it called “disparaging remarks” about the on-track competition last Sunday at Phoenix.

Hamlin has vowed not to pay the fine and said he would appeal.

Allmendinger gets new ride

A.J. Allmendinger, who was suspended for failing a NASCAR drug test last season and later reinstated after completing a recovery program, has landed a new ride in the IndyCar Series with Penske Racing.

Allmendinger lost his NASCAR ride with Penske over his NASCAR suspension but will drive in at least two IndyCar races this season for the organization – the April 7 race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., and the May 26 Indianapolis 500.

“It is exciting to welcome A.J. back to Penske Racing,” said team owner Roger Penske. “He obviously went through a tough time last year but he has done everything he needed to in order to get back to racing at the top level of the sport.

“We have always believed in AJ and his ability and he deserves this opportunity.”

Sponsor to match Vickers donation

During National Blood Clot Awareness Month in March, Dollar General will match the donation made by Nationwide Series driver Brian Vickers to benefit Clot Connect, a non-profit education outreach program for blood clots.

Dollar General and Vickers will donate $10 for each lap Vickers leads while driving his No. 20 Toyota in March. Each has committed to a minimum gift of $2,000.

Early in the 2010 season, Vickers was diagnosed with blood clots that forced him to miss the remainder of the season.

Charlotte FM station to air races

All of the Cup series races aired by Performance Racing Network this season, beginning with Sunday’s race at Las Vegas, can be heard in Charlotte on 99.7 WRFX The Fox. PRN’s races can also be heard on GoPRN.com.

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter
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