NASCAR has temporarily suspended A.J. Allmendinger for failing a drug test while it is investigating the issue. On July 8, Penske Racing indicated that he plans to request that his "B" sample be tested to determine his innocence. Penske Racing and the driver have maintained their silence during the investigation. Unfortunately, the lack of detailed information from NASCAR on its drug policy is another example of rules that remain hidden from fans.
The "A" Sample Tests Positive
NASCAR has released limited information on the failed drug test. The statement indicated that A.J. Allmendinger's "A" sample tested positive, but the type of drug has not been released. Penske Racing has mentioned that Allmendinger will ask that his "B" sample be tested. Although NASCAR has revealed that it conducts random drug testing on drivers, some of the rules and details are still not public knowledge.
It is possible that the "A" sample has given a false positive, and A.J. Allmendinger could be cleared. At this point, his suspension is temporary while NASCAR is investigating the issue, and he could return to the track once he is cleared. There have already been comparisons among fans to Jeremy Mayfield who was suspended several years ago for testing positive for methamphetamine. In Allmendinger's case, it is too soon to judge or compare him to Mayfield.
Penske Racing Finds a Quick Replacement
Penske Racing has not made an official statement about the drug test and has tried to avoid commenting on the A.J. Allmendinger situation. Since he was suspended before the Coke Zero 400, the team managed to find a quick replacement with limited time. Sam Hornish Jr. drove for Penske Racing on July 7 and ended the race in 33rd place.
NASCAR is planning to test the "B" sample and reveal the results this week. If the sample is also positive, then A.J. Allmendinger's suspension becomes permanent. It is not clear how Penske Racing will proceed if they lose the driver. Sam Hornish Jr. was meant to be a temporary replacement for one race, and the team has not shared who could take Allmendinger's place.
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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.