I can’t believe I am writing this. I know as a writer I am not supposed to use I, but this time is different. I can’t believe I am writing about a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver failing a drug test and getting suspended. A.J. Allmendinger has been suspended from NASCAR and therefore driving duties of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge. We all can relate to A.J. Allmendinger. We all have at some point in our lives done something wrong and been given another chance. We all have had circumstances not go our way only to find another way to succeed. When A.J. was given a chance to drive the No. 22 Dodge by Rodger Penske, a choice ride in NASCAR, we all wanted him to succeed this time.
After the race at Kentucky Speedway, A.J.’s number was drawn and he was given a random drug test according to the NASCAR rule book. His first sample, the “A” test failed for a yet unspecified substance not allowed by NASCAR. He was temporarily suspended by NASCAR for the subsequent race at Daytona International Speedway until he either had his “B” sample retested with that test being negative. He has 72 hours to request that test. It is being reported that he requested that immediately but there has been no official comment by A.J. Allmendinger about the test or other circumstances. We all are awaiting the results of that test and A.J.’s fate in NASCAR.
Regardless of the way the test goes, A.J. Allmendinger only had a one year contract to drive that car and was in a sense competing for the ride. If he fails the test he will be done driving in NASCAR for the rest of the season. In order to get his NASCAR license back he would have to complete their substance program which would be tailored to what he had been caught taking. If he isn’t driving this season the odds of him getting another prime sponsor and car to drive in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is slim. There are just too many good drivers available to drive right now in NASCAR. Unfortunately the odds that someone in these labs made a mistake are very small. The odds are not looking good for A.J.
While we all wait for the results we can only hope that some mistake was made. NASCAR needed his second chance story to play out this season. We all needed the additional drama that goes with that. The only positive that might come out of this is Sam Hornish Jr. might end up with a similar second chance to race in a prime car.
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