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A.J. Allmendinger dropped by Penske Racing after failed drug test

August 01, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • A.J. Allmendinger in the garage before practice for the Daytona 500 earlier this year.
A.J. Allmendinger in the garage before practice for the Daytona 500 earlier… (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated…)

NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger has been dropped by Penske Racing in the wake of his failed drug test.

Team owner Roger Penske on Wednesday cut loose the Northern California driver, who three weeks ago tested positive for a banned amphetamine. Sam Hornish Jr. will take his place in the No. 22 Dodge when the Sprint Cup Series heads to Pocono, Pa., this weekend.

“A.J. is a terrific driver, a good person and it is very unfortunate that we have to separate at this time,” Penske said. “We have invested greatly in A.J. and we were confident in his success with our team. The decision to dismiss him is consistent with how we would treat any other Penske Racing team member under similar circumstances. As A.J. begins NASCAR's 'Road to Recovery' program, we wish him the best and look forward to seeing him compete again in NASCAR.”

Allmendinger, who is 25th in the Sprint Cup standings, was originally suspended indefinitely on July 7 by NASCAR after his failed drug test in late June.

He released a statement, saying, “I apologize for the distraction, embarrassment and difficulties that my current suspension from NASCAR has provided.”

Although NASCAR has not said what substance Allmendinger abused, the driver's business manager reportedly said it was an amphetamine. Allmendinger, who said he didn't realize that he had taken a banned substance, hired an independent laboratory to help him understand what led to the positive test.


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