aj allmendinger.jpgAJ Allmendinger, driver of the Penske Racing #22 Dodge
    Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was suspended after a random testing
    procedure administered at last weekend’s Kentucky Speedway came back positive
    for banned drug use.  NASCAR did not
    state what drugs were in Allmendinger’s system but his suspension that was
    announced Saturday kept him out of the driver’s seat for the Coke Zero 400 at

    Unfortunately, very little information was offered on
    Saturday when NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell
    took to the media stage at the Daytona International Speedway so we do not know
    how long AJ Allmendinger will be suspended but we do know that Allmendinger had
    72 hours to request for NASCAR to test the other portion of the sample collected
    at the Kentucky race.  Per NASCAR
    guidelines, when a driver is subjected to a random drug test, the sample is
    split in half with the first sample being used for the random testing
    procedure.  Should Allmendinger believe
    that his sample was falsely found to be positive, he can ask NASCAR to test the
    other sample portion.

    NASCAR has not offered any more on this story but The
    Sporting News stated that AJ Allmendinger was “shocked” to hear of the positive
    results.  There is no indication as to
    whether or not the driver of the #22 Dodge Charger will ask NASCAR to test the
    other half but rumors suggest that his time at Penske could be in jeopardy
    should he be suspended further for drug use.

    Since the suspension, Penske Racing called upon veteran
    Nationwide Series driver Sam Hornish Jr to drive Allmendinger’s car.  Hornish currently drives the #22 Dodge
    Challenger for Penske in the Nationwide Series and for at least one more race
    (the upcoming event in Loudon), he will drive the #22 Dodge Charger in the
    Sprint Cup ranks.

    AJ Allmendinger is the first big name NASCAR driver to fail
    a random drug test or to face a drug test related suspension since Jeremy Mayfield
    was handed an indefinite ban from the sport for testing positive for methamphetamines
    in May 2009.  Even though Mayfield had
    that ban lifted in July 2009, it was found later that month that Mayfield had
    tested positive again for meth use and he was suspended indefinitely –
    essentially for life.

    As a supporter of the Team Dodge NASCAR program, I hope that
    this turns out to be a false positive and young driver AJ Allmendinger will
    soon be behind the wheel of the #22 Dodge Charger.  Unfortunately, none of the three NASCAR
    drivers previously banned for drug use have been reinstated but I have my fingers crossed to soon be posting a piece here on DF about how his test produced a false positive.