Penske Racing has shared that the team plans on using Sam Hornish Jr. as a replacement again. The suspension of A.J. Allmendinger has not been lifted because NASCAR is still investigating his positive drug test. Penske's latest announcement on July 9 could indicate that they do not expect the "B" sample test results to be back in time for the race in New Hampshire.
NASCAR's decision to keep the type of drug involved in the investigation a secret has a resulted in speculation among fans. There are also questions about why NASCAR immediately suspended Allmendinger and if he received the opportunity to explain the positive test result for the "A" sample before the suspension. The only thing that has been confirmed is A.J. Allmendinger's decision to have his "B" sample tested.
NASCAR is planning to have the "B" sample tested this week. However, there has not been a clear timeline about the release of the results. Again, the only thing that NASCAR has been willing to confirm is the previous policy on permanent suspension of drivers who test positive for both samples. I think this secrecy has only created unfounded rumors and unnecessary speculation.
Sam Hornish Jr.'s Role
Penske Racing waited for July 9 to release its plan for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 race on July 15 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr. will be driving the No. 22 Dodge, and his name has already been added to the official entry list. Hornish replaced Allmendinger at the Coke Zero 400 on July 7. Although Penske did not indicate an initial interest in using Hornish again, it seems the team has decided to stay with its first choice. I think Penske was simply searching for an easy solution and an available driver.
Despite the ominous silence from Allmendinger, it is still possible that his name will be cleared. However, fans will have to wait for the results of the "B" sample to be released. Could Sam Hornish Jr. become a permanent replacement for A.J. Allmendinger if he is suspended indefinitely? Penske Racing is rumored to be considering this option.
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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.