AJ Allmendinger Suspended Indefinitely From NASCAR Competition

AJ Allmendinger - Anne Proffit photo

AJ Allmendinger - Anne Proffit photo

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AJ Allmendinger came to Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville, TN, on July 24 armed with a toxicologist who would independently examine his "B" sample from NASCAR's random drug test at Kentucky Speedway.

The intent was to show that he did not have a slightly elevated illegal stimulant in his blood.

Unfortunately, the results were the same as the "A" test on the driver of the No. 22 Penske Racing Shell/Pennzoil Dodge in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, forcing the sanctioning body to suspend Allmendinger indefinitely from all NASCAR competition.

He was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR's substance abuse policy) in the 2012 NASCAR rule book.

NASCAR will provide AJ Allmendinger with a letter that outlines the process he can take for reinstatement. By agreeing to the letter, he will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery Program, the series said.

Allmendinger's business manager and vice president of Walldinger Racing Inc., Tara Ragan stated, "This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this," she said. "To that end, we have secured the services of an independent lab to conduct--through testing on every product within AJ's home and motor coach--to find out 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," Ragan continued, "to identify the next action steps in this process. We continue to be extremely grateful for 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."

Penske Racing acknowledged Sam Hornish Jr, a three-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion will again drive the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in addition to driving his No. 22 Nationwide Series Dodge. "We respect NASCAR's policy and the process they have taken with this matter," a statement from the team read.

"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." In addition to his assignments this weekend in two races at the Kroger Super Weekend at Indy, Hornish Jr will race the No. 22 Sprint Cup Series car next weekend at Pocono.

Sponsors Shell and Pennzoil said they "believe that the process and procedures that NASCAR has in place as part of their substance abuse policy are appropriate and serve to ensure that the sport and its participants are held to the highest standards.
"We share Penske Racing’s disappointment with the result of AJ’s "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."

One day after the series set its parameters, Allmendinger's manager Tara Ragan set his next act in motion "While we await further information from testing to determine the cause (of the positive random drug test), we have notified NASCAR that AJ will participate in the Road to Recovery Program starting immediately," she said. "We respect NASCAR's drug testing policies; they are first and foremost in place to protect drivers, AJ being among those. We would like to personally thank Mr [Mike] Helton (NASCAR president) and John Bobo for helping work through this in an expeditious manner."

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