Your Turn: Should Penske rehire AJ?
Our experts get to have their say every Tuesday, debating the week's burning questions in our Turn 4 wrangle.
Now it's Your Turn.
We're selecting one hot-button topic each week and letting y'all have at it. We invite you to cast your vote in the accompanying poll and then steer down to the Conversations section below and tell us why you voted the way you did.
Prefer Twitter? You can tweet your response using the hashtag #ESPNYourTurn.
We will collect the top tweets and most engaging comments and publish them below. Check back throughout the day to see if yours gets posted.
This week's question: Should Roger Penske consider rehiring reinstated NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger for his IndyCar stable?
Allmendinger was reinstated on Tuesday after completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. He'd been suspended July 24 for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Allmendinger was driving the No. 22 Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series for Penske Racing before his suspension. Penske told The Associated Press this past weekend at the IndyCar finale in Fontana, Calif., that the former Champ Car driver "could be an option for us" once he completed the Road to Recovery program.
Penske doesn't have an available ride on the NASCAR side in 2013, but his third IndyCar seat -- the one that had been occupied by Ryan Briscoe -- has not been filled.
So what say you, NASCAR nation? Does Allmendinger deserve another shot with Penske?
Now have at it
The best from Twitter (#ESPNYourTurn)
@joebreezeespn No as it doesn't set a good example, get done for drugs in NASCAR no problem, come back to Indy Cars. not a good look.— Karbon Magazine (@KarbonMagazine) September 19, 2012
I would be on the fence if I was Penske. Give AJ one more chance and if he fails then fire him. AJ has potential to be great. #ESPNyourturn— Logan Heinen (@LogHeinen) September 19, 2012
If Allmendinger truly shows Penske that he's learned from his mistake(s), sure. But switching series will hurt his production. #ESPNYourTurn— Kyle Findley(@KFizz21) September 19, 2012
The best from ESPN Conversations
• sspires24 -- It would be in NASCAR's best interest to help AJ get a ride back in NASCAR. They want to show that their road to recovery program can be successful and AJ is perfect for that role.
• JohnnieMcQueen -- The bottom line is AJ doesn't deserve the Penske ride at this point in his career. He hasn't been in open-wheel since '06, who knows how he'll do against this highly-competitive field that has many outstanding racers now. I've been saying for a while that Briscoe probably hasn't earned to be in that car either anymore, but he is definately the stronger and more deserving option than AJ. Roger should only be replacing Briscoe if he can really get a top 5 elite guy in there like Bourdais.
• cocacola150dr -- A.J. did what he was suppossed to do so he could race again. That shows me his passion for racing. Couple that with the success he was having before the failed drug test and he could potentially bring success to an organization.
• n8lbs10_13 -- Yes on Penske, but it would look awful for IndyCar. Busted for drugs in NASCAR? No problem, come drive vehicles that are twice as dangerous!
• CueALLtheDuckboats -- Whichever series he goes to, he'll be starting all over again. I think it's in AJ's best interest to return to NASCAR and rehabilitate the reputation he damaged while he was there.
• WhateverJoel -- Would AJ want to play second fiddle to Will Power? I'd honestly rather see AJ drive for Panther or Sarah Fisher. He could mentor a young driver while helping these teams on the engineering side. Once he establishes himself in that role, then I'd feel better with him moving to Penske.
• bsmithers81 -- i think it would be good to see him in the indycar series. the series needs more successful American drivers to get interest back in the series. he has proved he can win on road courses and now has a lot of oval experience. i think if he signed with Penske that he would be the favorite for the championship next year. Will Power is terrible on ovals and Allmendinger will give him a run for his money on the road courses.
• d0re -- I don't think Penske should rehire AJ in INDYCAR, because if AJ doesn't at least attempt NASCAR again, then he will be labelled a quitter forever. If Penske could give AJ a ride in NNS then maybe, but I think AJ -- for his image's sake -- should at least try to stay in NASCAR and it doesn't look like he will be able to do that with Penske on the Cup side.
• 11_JGR -- Absolutely yes. His skill set lies in open wheel, and IndyCar really could use another American face in the series to help it thrive. In NASCAR, he's just another also-ran, face in the crowd.
• billipsj -- To say no sponsor would touch him is not true. If they bring him in and believe his story then who knows what can happen. I just do not think for a second his story is true. He took a pill from someone he did not know....if that is the truth then he is crazy to risk throwing everything away like that. Sadly for him neither series needs him and both will go on without him. I am not saying he does not deserve a second chance people who have done far worse have gotten them and so should AJ assuming his story was true. I just know I wont be rooting for him just like I didn't before all this. He really is an irrelevant driver at the Cup level. If I were him I would talk to someone about a Nationwide deal. Penske has options there as well as other decent teams. However Roger should be smarter then that. AJ made his entire organization look silly
• More on ESPN Conversations.
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