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NASCAR suspends A.J. Allmendinger indefinitely after new drug test

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Tuesday, Jul. 24, 2012

Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR competition after the testing of his B sample confirmed the results of a failed random drug test from earlier this month.

Allmendinger becomes the second driver in NASCAR’s premier series to be indefinitely suspended for violating its substance abuse policy since it adopted a random testing policy at the start of the 2009 season.

Jeremy Mayfield was indefinitely suspended on May 10, 2009, after failing a random drug test. He fought his suspension in court to no avail.

As outlined in the rule book, NASCAR next will provide Allmendinger a letter outlining a process for reinstatement. By agreeing to the letter, he will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery Program.

In a statement released Tuesday night, Allmendinger’s business manager, Tara Ragan, said Allmendinger’s group would work with NASCAR and Penske Racing going forward.

"“This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this," Ragan said.

"We continue to be extremely grateful by the breadth and scope of support for A.J. from his fans and partners."

Penske released a statement in which the organization said it was notified Tuesday of Allmendinger’s positive B sample test.

"Penske Racing is very disappointed with the result of the B sample test and will evaluate its course of action as it pertains to AJ over the coming week," it read.

Sam Hornish Jr., who currently runs fulltime in the Nationwide Series, will continue to drive Penske’s No. 22 Dodge this weekend at Indianapolis and next weekend at Pocono.

Allmendinger was suspended hours before the July 7 race at Daytona for failing a random drug test taken at the end of June. He has said he tested positive for a stimulant, but has not revealed the substance.

In his only public statement, Allmendinger has said he would never knowingly take a banned susbstance.

The B sample test was done Tuesday morning at Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville, Tenn. Allmendinger was present for the test along with a toxicologist of his choosing.

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