On July 25, it was confirmed that A.J. Allmendinger will join NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program to work on a potential reinstatement. The announcement comes one day after his B sample tested positive for the same stimulant found in the A sample. This is an obvious move to try to salvage his career, but it seems to contradict the previous reports that claimed he was planning on challenging the suspension.
A.J. Allmendinger's manager has made it clear that he "will participate in the Road to Recovery Program starting immediately." The statement also indicated that they "respect NASCAR's drug testing policies" and are determined to find a solution. Since Allmendinger has agreed to join the Road to Recovery Program, it is not clear if he will proceed with more tests to determine how the stimulant ended up in his body. The driver has continued to insist that he did not "knowingly" take a substance that would have caused a positive drug test.
By agreeing to join the Road to Recovery Program, Allmendinger may not be able to challenge the suspension. He will have to abide by the program's rules to be reinstated. The exact nature of the stimulant is still not known, and NASCAR has only confirmed that an amphetamine was found.
A.J. Allmendinger is trying to salvage his NASCAR career, and I think he may view the Road to Recovery Program as his last chance to be reinstated. The length of the program has not been revealed, but it will include meetings with counselors and ongoing drug tests. Unfortunately, he could still lose his ride with Penske Racing because the team may not welcome him back. In addition, Allmendinger still has fan support, but some have already turned away from him during this difficult time.
Penske Racing has shared that the team will continue to use Sam Hornish Jr. in the No. 22 car, but the sponsors' future remains uncertain. Shell and Pennzoil could use the recent controversy as an excuse to end the partnership with the team. They would not be the first sponsors to leave because of image concerns.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.
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