You may or may not have heard of "Fuel in a Bottle", but a company called BYB Brands hired A.J. Allmendinger to be their Brand Ambassador earlier this year … but it might have cost him his career.
Although Allmendinger's "A" sample tested positive for a banned stimulant - NASCAR won't say what it was - he requested the "B" test. If that second test sample verifies the A sample, Allmendinger will be out of a job as his NASCAR temporary suspension will become permanent.
Tara Ragan, spokesperson for Allmendinger, said: "AJ tested positive for a stimulant. He has no idea why the first test was positive, and he has never knowingly taken any prohibited substance. AJ is collecting his medicines and supplements for testing to determine whether an over-the-counter product caused his positive test."
Let it be said that since we don't actually know what the stimulant is, it's conjecture at this point based only on recent statements by Allmendinger, his PR people and BYB Brands. The FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) declares the entire Fuel in a Bottle ingredients are safe - although the FDA does not regulate supplements. The drink is a small 2.5 ounce bottle called "power shots". Also, it should be noted that BYB Brands is owned by Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
"a little bit of extra energy "
When Allmendinger was first hired by BYB Brands, he stated: "Everybody knows that no matter what I am doing--driving, training, or even just talking--I bring a little bit of extra energy to it!" And: "I know that keeping up my intense workout regimen can be the key to success. So it's pretty much a natural thing for me to team up with Fuel in a Bottle, and I am excited to be part of this campaign. Between the races, training, and all the travel that make up the NASCAR season, I am glad to have Fuel in a Bottle power shots in my back pocket to count on this year."
If this relationship with Fuel in a Bottle and subsequent use of the product is what sends Allmendinger packing, then the sport might be opening a can-of-worms. There are many other on-the-shelf products being sold and used as quick pick-me-ups including the major sponsor on Michael Waltrip Racing's #15 car driven by Clint Bowyer: 5-Hour Energy drink.
Sam in - Allmendinger ... ?
For now, Sam Hornish Jr. is the driver of the #22 Penske Racing Dodge. Allmendinger has just a one-year contract with Penske and if indeed he's suspended indefinitely, his job at Penske in all likelihood is over. He can't be reinstated until he completes a treatment program … if one even exists for energy drinks.
Again, we don't have all the facts so the story hasn't unfolded yet. Allmendinger has requested the "B" sample and his own people will be at the test. The second test will occur next week according to just released information (source - Associated Press). Ragan stated: "We will have the opportunity to review all of the scientific data surrounding the test following the "B"' sample test, but our understanding is that AJ's test was slightly above the threshold."
Source - Associated Press
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.