Charlotte, NC – Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger publicly commented on his "temporary suspension" from NASCAR for recently violating its substance abuse policy.
In his statement released on Tuesday, Allmendinger is petitioning NASCAR to test his "B" sample. The 30-year-old driver failed his initial drug test that he took the last weekend in June when the series competed at Kentucky Speedway.
Prior to last Saturday night's 400-mile race at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR announced that Allmendinger was suspended "based upon notification of a positive 'A' test NASCAR received from the Medical Review Officer as stated in Section 19-11B (6,7) of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy."
NASCAR also noted, "Pursuant to the rule book, Allmendinger has the opportunity to request within the next 72 hours that his "B" sample be tested." That deadline was Tuesday.
"I have informed NASCAR that I have requested that the 'B' sample be tested, following the steps according to NASCAR's 2012 rule book regarding this situation," Allmendinger said in his statement. "I fully respect NASCAR's drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge."
NASCAR has yet to reveal the substance.
Allmendinger is in his first year as driver of the No. 22 Dodge for Penske Racing. He replaced Kurt Busch in the car after Busch was dismissed from the team following the 2012 Sprint Cup season.
Sam Hornish Jr., who drives full-time for Penske in the Nationwide Series, was called upon to substitute for Allmendinger in the No. 22 at Daytona, arriving at the racetrack moments before the start of the event. Hornish will also drive the car this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
"I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans," Allmendinger noted. "Obviously, I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug."
If Allmendinger's "B" sample comes back positive, NASCAR will then place Allmendinger on indefinite suspension, meaning he will have to successfully complete a drug treatment program before he can be reinstated.
Allmendinger is the second Sprint Cup driver to be suspended since NASCAR revised its drug policy prior to the start of the 2009 season.
Jeremy Mayfield failed a drug test in May '09 and has not competed in a NASCAR event since then. Mayfield had continuously lost his legal battle with NASCAR in court.