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The furor around AJ Allmendinger's failed random drug test, announced a week ago at Daytona International Speedway, continues to mount.
Allmendinger's management team said he wants to submit his "B" sample for testing, after admitting it was a stimulant that caused the initial positive result. The resubmit may happen next week following the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway--or not.
While there have been suggestions that Allmendinger will be at Aegis for the test in Nashville, Tenn., or that he would send a qualified toxicologist to the test, none of that has been decided at this time.
NASCAR's rule in Section 19-11 B (2) states: "The NASCAR member (meaning Allmendinger) may be present (either personally or represented by a qualified toxicologist not associated with Aegis) during the second test at his/her expense."
Allmendinger's competitors have had a chance to weigh in with their thoughts about his temporary suspension, NASCAR's manner of testing for illegal substances, and on the use of a single entity to test and re-test any samples.Carl Edwards thinks the samples should be tested by different laboratories. He thinks NASCAR should have an A and B testing facility, rather than a single entity testing all samples. He also noted that his trainer advised him, "Be careful. Anything you ingest is made somewhere and you don't know what that factory was making the day before it made the product you're using." Edwards wonders, "No matter what the test results are, there is always going to be that little question: 'maybe there was a mistake.'"
The test result was a bit of a shock to Tony Stewart, reigning (and three-time) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who was just named ESPY Driver of the Year this past week. Stewart was surprised that "it happened when it did," as Allmendinger was notified less than two hours before the Daytona race, placing his team's entry in jeopardy.
Stewart also noted, "That is not in AJ Allmendinger's character so I don't know what is going on there. It's unfortunate because he's a good guy and he's a really good race car driver."
Current point leader Matt Kenseth is withholding his judgment on this issue until he has more facts. "Being a driver and knowing how serious we all take it - and how hard we work at it - it seems unbelievable that somebody would do something or put something in their body that they didn't know out and take that risk," he mused.
"I think they did a lot of things when they put that system in place to make it as fair as they can and I really believe that NASCAR is going to err on the side of caution," Kenseth emphasized. "I think they're going to be pretty darn careful before they do something that could really jeopardize somebody's career, so I'd have a hard time believing that it's not pretty rock solid… "
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., goes to the NASCAR trailer for any questions he might have on this or any other issue: "I've never felt like I didn't get an honest answer or feel better when I walked out of there. I mean," he said of this situation, "everybody is just kind of nervous about not knowing nothing. Everybody is curious about it and nervous, I guess."
Because the people testing Allmendinger's samples are human after all, Earnhardt is "more nervous about it being a mistake or the agency making a mistake and it being a big problem for the sport. Just knowing all the guys that I race against, I wouldn't have never guessed. It's just hard to wrap your head around anybody making a mistake or a driver making a mistake or the agency making a mistake, you just don't know," he said.
Brad Keselowski was quite succinct about his views on the subject: "I feel you shouldn't be allowed to take anything. Just man up and drive the damn race car."
In the meantime, Allmendinger is on the sidelines and Sam Hornish, Jr., is getting plenty of seat time, working both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Penske Racing as Allmendinger's situation is straightened out.
Roger Penske did say that, if Allmendinger's "B" sample is ruled negative in the July 24th test, he'll be back in the car in time for the Brickyard 400 that Sunday.