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.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.