A.J. Allmendinger’s B-Sample matches the A-Sample and is Suspended
A.J. Allmendinger rolled the dice, had his B sample retested, and lost. As widely expected, the B sample test matched the A sample test. A.J. Allmendinger is suspended from NASCAR and will now have to go through the substance abuse program as dictated by the NASCAR rulebook.
On June 29th, NASCAR member A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Penske Racing Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was randomly tested by Aegis at the NASCAR event in Kentucky, per rulebook Section 19-6C. The test consisted of taking a urine sample which was split into two, an “A” sample and a “B” sample. The “A” sample was tested by Aegis labs for the drugs listed by NASCAR in the rulebook that are not acceptable.
On July 4th, the Program Administrator sent a positive “A” sample test result to the program’s Medical Review Officer, Dr. Douglas Aukerman, M.D., and on July 5th, Aegis sent final paperwork to Dr. Aukerman, per Section 19-11, which allowed him to begin his review.
On July 6th, Dr. Aukerman and A.J. Allmendinger exchanged phone messages.
On July 7th, Dr. Aukerman connected by phone with A.J. Allmendinger and informed him of the positive “A” test. Dr. Aukerman also informed him he could choose to have the “B” sample tested, per Section 19-11A, B.
Later that day, Dr. Aukerman notified NASCAR of the positive “A” test, and NASCAR temporarily suspended A.J. Allmendinger, as stated in Section 19-11B(6,7).
A.J. Allmendinger officially notified Dr. Aukerman on July 9th of his request to have his “B” sample tested, which was within the allotted 72-hour window from the time he was informed that his “A” sample was positive, per Section 19-11B.
Once A.J. Allmendinger requested to have the “B” sample tested, NASCAR’s substance abuse policy provides its members up to 30 business days to have the “B” sample test conducted and results finalized, per Sec. 19-11B(5). These 30 days are designed to provide the member with reasonable time to prepare to attend the “B” sample test or be represented by a qualified toxicologist, per Sec. 19-11B(2).
On July 17th, the Program Administrator informed NASCAR that A.J. Allmendinger made the decision to select Tuesday, July 24th, for the “B” test and has designated an independent toxicologist to be present on his behalf.
While waiting for the “B” sample to be tested, Penske Racing has been using Nationwide Series driver Sam Hornish Jr. to substitute for A.J.
The “B” test was completed July 24th and the results indicate that the “B” sample matched the “A” sample and A.J. Allmendinger’s suspension from NASCAR is automatically indefinite. His suspension could be lifted by NASCAR if he follows the procedures set forth in their substance abuse program. This program would be specifically tailored to A.J. Allmendinger and the drug or drugs that he tested positive for. As of yet we do not know if A.J. will choose to go through this program. Both the “A” sample and “B” sample tested positive for a stimulant that is not allowed. The exact drug is known but will not be disclosed by NASCAR.
A.J. Allmendinger had been given a second chance with a top tier team to prove himself worthy of competing for wins at the highest level in NASCAR. This most surely will mean the end of his career in NASCAR due to the fact that top sponsors will not want to be associated with a driver who has failed a drug test. Drivers without sponsors do not get good teams and cars..
Penske Racing and the sponsor of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil will be scrambling for the days and months to come to find a suitable driver to not only drive the car for race wins but represent the team honorably. Sam Hornish Jr. will be in the car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and beyond until Penske Racing can make a long term decision on the driver.
Kurt Busch was driving the No. 22 last year and was let go after being caught on camera verbally abusing a pit reporter during a race. Hopefully after having bad experiences with two drivers in a row, Shell-Pennzoil will remain in the sport and stay with Penske Racing. NASCAR needs sponsors.
Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary. On Facebook at NASCAR News and Commentary
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