Penske Racing driver AJ Allmendinger has been indefinitely suspended by NASCAR for violation of the sport’s substance abuse policy.
Initially suspended on July 7 after being informed he had failed a random drug test taken the previous week, Allmendinger had his backup, or “B” sample,” tested. It confirmed the original positive. NASCAR officials have not announced what substance Allmendinger tested positive for.
In a statement released Tuesday, Allmendinger’s business manager, Tara Ragan, had this to say:
“This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this. 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. We continue to be extremely grateful by the breadth and scope of support for AJ from his fans and partners. We would like to again thank NASCAR, Penske Racing and all our sponsor partners for the open communication, and for helping us at every step in this process. We expect to have further updates in the upcoming days.”
NASCAR does not reveal the substance a driver, crewman or series official tests positive for. Ragan stated last week that Allmendinger had tested positive for a “stimulant.”
Allmendinger can now choose to enter NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery,” a program tailored to individuals in the sport who have failed drug tests.
Sam Hornish Jr. has filled the empty seat in Penske’s No. 22 Dodge in Allmendinger’s absence and will do so again this weekend for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He has finishes of 33rd (Daytona) and 22nd (New Hampshire) in the Cup Series while also running a full Nationwide Series slate, where he currently sits fourth in the championship standings.
by Matt Taliaferro
Editor, Athlon Sports