AJ Allmendinger lost his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride with Penske Racing on August 1 of this year due to testing positive for amphetamines during a random NASCAR drug test taken during the Kentucky race weekend. The results of “Sample A” were announced on the same day that the Cup teams were preparing for the under the lights night race at Daytona International Speedway on the 7th of July.
The driver of the #22 at first temporary suspended. Since two samples are taken on the same day, Allmendinger had 72 hours to request that “Sample B” be tested. He failed the B sample test, and news broke on July 25th that the Allmendinger was place on indefinite suspension, and could not race in any of the NASCAR-owned series. . Allmendinger entered the NASCAR Road to Recovery Program and now on the 18th of September, NASCAR announced that he now has been reinstated effective immediately.
“I want to thank everyone for their support through this entire process,” said Allmendinger. “I appreciate that NASCAR created the Road to Recovery program, and am grateful for the opportunity to return to competition. The Road to Recovery program was really helpful to me in getting my priorities reset away from the race track. And, honestly, that helped find my love of racing again and why I began racing in the first place. I’m looking forward to taking this experience and be better for it moving forward.”
Allmendinger stays on the sidelines unless one of the NASCAR teams decide to give him a chance. Sam Hornish Jr. now drives the #22 Penske car, and it is doubtful that the Penske organization gives him a chance to prove to them and himself that he still can run up front and challenge for race wins. Will any other NASCAR team in any of their series give him a chance before the season ends?
Michael Shank, a team owner in the Grand-Am Rolex Series who also plans an entry for the IZOD IndyCar Series; either full time or for the Indianapolis 500, has stood by Allmendinger thought-out his ordeal. There is one race left for the Rolex teams, and a final question could be: Will Allmendinger be behind the wheel of a Daytona Prototype at Lime Rock?