NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR after his “B” urine test read positive in Tuesday’s lab reading.
Allmendinger, who was temporarily suspended by NASCAR prior to the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, for failing a random drug test administered at Kentucky Speedway the week before, will not be allowed to race in this weekend’s Brickyard 400, and for the foreseeable future, as a result of the test.
“This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this,” said Tara Ragan, Vice President of Walldinger Racing Inc.
“To that end, we have secured the services of an independent lab to conduct thorough testing on every product within AJ’s home and motor coach to find what might collaborate with his test, which created results that were within nanograms of accepted standards.
“We are working closely with NASCAR and Penske Racing to identify the next action steps in this process.”
Allmendinger will have the option to complete a tailor-made “Road to Recvery” program issued by NASCAR if he chooses to do so.
What does that mean for Allmendinger? Here’s what the NASCAR rule book says about the “Road to Recovery” program.
“”NASCAR members who violate this (Substance Abuse) Policy, are required to be tested before returning to NASCAR.
” In conjunction with the terms and conditions of reinstatement of a NASCAR license, the (Program Administrator) will provide for an evaluation with an appropriate substance abuse professional for the purpose of advising on the creation of a Road to Recovery Plan, which may include substance abuse counseling, treatment or rehabilitation.
“The PA (Program Administrator) will determine how many times the NASCAR member will be tested, for how long, and for what substances. The PA may also require that collections be under direct observation.”
In a statement released by Penske Racing Tuesday night, Sam Hornish Jr.,who drives for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series and has past history with the team in IndyCar, will take the place of Allmendinger in the upcoming races at Indianapolis and Pocono.
Penske Racing issued their take on the Allmendinger suspension.
“In accordance with NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy, Penske Racing was notified today of AJ Allmendinger’s positive B sample test. We respect NASCAR’s policy and the process they have taken with this matter.
“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.”
Shell, who as Allmendinger’s sponsor at Penske Racing, share’s the sentiments of the team.
” We share Penske Racing’s disappointment with the result of AJ’s (Allmendinger) B sample test and will work closely with them to determine plans moving forward. We hope for the best for AJ during this difficult time.”
While it’s unknown what’s next for Allmendinger, what we do know is that he won’t be racing in NASCAR in the near future.
Late Tuesday night, Allmendinger took to Twitter to issue his first comments on the suspension.
“I just want to say thank you first and foremost for all of you sticking by me. Please don’t think me being means I haven’t been reading all your support. And man, it means more than you will ever know.
“Im sorry we even have to have this going on. But I promise …I will do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of this and get back out there no matter what.
Official Statement from NASCAR:
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 24, 2012) – AJ Allmendinger, driver of the No. 22 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.
On July 24, Allmendinger was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR’s substance abuse policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book.
As outlined in the rule book, NASCAR next will provide Allmendinger a letter outlining a process for reinstatement. By agreeing to the letter, he will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery Program.