AJ Allmendinger, normally the driver of the number 22 Dodge, had been temporarily suspended by NASCAR for failing a random drug test. Because of his failed A test, Allmendinger had the option to request a B test, which he exercised in due time. In a change of pace from the normal NASCAR announcements of penalties and suspensions that normally would occur early Tuesday afternoon, it was an evening announcement from NASCAR that said Allmendinger’s B test came back positive for an unannounced substance. This would result in Allmendinger’s indefinite suspension from NASCAR.
Allmendinger is not the first driver in a national touring series of NASCAR to face an indefinite suspension for a failed drug test. Among other drivers suspended include Shane Sieg, Aaron Fike, Shane Hmiel, Brian Rose, and most famously Jeremy Mayfield. The road back to NASCAR from here is not an easy one, as only Sieg and Rose were able to make it back to national touring racing.
Allmendinger’s private team Walldinger Racing released a statement claiming they have hired professionals to go through Allmendinger’s motorcoach and home to find the source of the positive test. They also claim the positive test was by mere nanograms over the limit imposed by NASCAR.
The team Allmendinger races for in the Sprint Cup Series, Penske Racing, also released a statement, saying that they will review the situation this week, and that there were also disappointed with the result of the test. Former IndyCar driver and current Nationwide Series driver Sam Hornish Jr will continue to fill in for Allmendinger at Indianapolis and Pocono these next two weekends.
The road from here for Allmendinger can take one of two paths. One, Allmendinger can immediately move to NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program, like Sieg and Rose had, and work his way back to NASCAR over the course of time, as long as a few years. Or two, Allmendinger can follow the example of Jeremy Mayfield and sue NASCAR in order to attempt to be reinstated and clear his name in the sport.
Regardless of the path Allmendinger chooses to take, his story involving his suspension is far from over, and you can count on SportsFullCircle to follow this story to its conclusion.