The racing career of AJ Allmendinger could be in jeopardy after the driver was suspended Wednesday for violating NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy. A spokesman for the driver says he will participate in the organization’s rehab program.
In a brief release, NASCAR said the 30-year-old driver had been found in violations of two sections of the 2012 NASCAR rule book outlining “actions detrimental to stock car racing” and its “substance abuse policy.” The organization suspended Allmendinger indefinitely from all competitions and said it would issue the driver a letter “outlining a process for reinstatement.” Under NASCAR rules, Allmendinger will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recover Program if he agrees to the terms of the letter.
NASCAR took action after the “B” sample collected in early July showed positive results. The organization did not specify the source of the results. On July 7, NASCAR had announced Allmendinger’s “A” sample from a random drug test conducted in Kentucky had violated the substance-abuse policy and immediately temporarily suspended the driver pending analysis of the second sample.
Allmendinger’s business manager, Tara Ragan, released a statement on July 11 indicating the driver had tested positive for a “stimulant” but that the driver did not know what could have caused the positive test result.
“This is not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this,” Ragan said in a statement after the latest action by NASCAR. Her statement goes on to say that Allmendinger has hired an independent laboratory to conduct tests in his home and motor coach “to find what might collaborate with this test, which created results that were within nanograms of accepted standards.”
Ragan also said Allmendinger had notified NASCAR that he was “starting immediately” the Road to Recovery Program. “We fully support the program,” she said. “As we stated earlier, we respect NASCAR’s drug testing policies.”
Allmendinger had appeared in 17 Sprint Cup races for Penske Racing in 2012, finishing in the top 5 once and in the top 10 three times. He has also raced in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series and in the Champ Car World Series, which predated the IndyCar series.
“Penske Racing is very disappointed with the result of the “B” sample test and will evaluate its course of action as it pertains to AJ over the coming week,” outlined a statement from the team. They also announced that Sam Hornish Jr. will drive Penske's No. 22 Sprint Cup car while Allmendinger is suspended.