Allmendinger to enter NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program

AJ Allmendinger was in his first year with Penske Racing. (Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger is in his first year with Penske Racing. (Getty Images)

In the aftermath of a positive drug test and resulting indefinite suspension from NASCAR competition, AJ Allmendinger has opted to enter NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program, Allmendinger’s business manager confirmed Wednesday.

Allmendinger maintains that he has never knowingly taken a banned substance and that he is unaware of what caused the urine sample taken June 29 at Kentucky Speedway to test positive. On Tuesday, the “B” portion of the split sample confirmed the earlier test of the “A” sample, which Ragan said was positive for a “stimulant.”

Allmendinger was suspended temporarily before the July 7 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona after he and NASCAR were notified of the positive “A” sample test. NASCAR made the suspension indefinite when the test of the “B” sample confirmed the earlier results.

Allmendinger must complete an individually designed Road to Recovery program before he can be recommended for reinstatement to competition.

“While we await further information from testing to determine the cause, we have notified NASCAR that AJ will participate in the Road to Recovery Program starting immediately,” Ragan said. “As we have stated earlier, we respect NASCAR’s drug testing policies.

“They are first and foremost in place to protect drivers and AJ being among those.  We fully support the program, and as more details become available, we will share them.”

Sam Hornish Jr. will replace Allmendinger in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge on Sunday at Indianapolis and Aug. 5 at Pocono.

“We’re very pleased that AJ Allmendinger has chosen to participate in the NASCAR Road to Recovery program,” NASCAR spokesperson David Higdon said in a statement.

“It’s designed, as proven, to provide a roadmap leading to a return to competition, and we wish him the best of luck. As we have with other competitors, we look forward to the day when the Program Administrator recommends him for reinstatement.”