A.J Allmendinger former driver of the No.22 Penske Dodge, failed a random drug test during the weekend of June 30; the race weekend at Kentucky. On July 24th, the driver had his “B Sample” tested; only hours later the sample came back positive as well.
Early last week, Allmendinger was released from his Penske Racing contract due to violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy.
In an interview, Allmendinger said,“I’m sure it looked like I was running away…And maybe I could have handled it a little different. But would I still be in the same position? Most likely. Everyone needs to handle things differently. I had to do some soul searching before I came out publicly.”
What pushed Allmendinger to tell the truth? A simple phone call to Jeff Gordon.
He asked the four time NASCAR Champion what to do, Gordon’s advice? “TELL THE TRUTH”
Allmendinger says he tested positive for the prescription drug Adderall.
According to a report by ESPN.com, Allmendinger said a friend handed him a pill and stated it was a workout supplement that would give him energy.
Later in the day, Allmendinger came out and told of what happened during that night that turned his world upside down just a few days later.
“I got to Kentucky early for a few sponsor commitments and went to hang out with a buddy for a couple of days before we got going,” Allmendinger said. “We were out early evening. I hadn’t been sleeping well — all season, really with the way things had been going, obviously, the expectations and everything like that. I was really tired, had no energy, nothing. We were out, he had a couple of his friends with him and I was struggling to even stay awake. One of his friends said, ‘Oh, I have an energy pill that I take for working out.’
“I didn’t think anything of it because I’ve taken energy supplements for working out, that my trainer gives me. So I didn’t even think about it. That was my big mistake. It was nothing crazy. It just gave me a little more energy.”
“The next week, Saturday, right before the race at Daytona, they let me know that I tested positive for amphetamine,” Allmendinger said. “Honestly, I’m naïve to drugs. I’ve never taken them. So when they told me I tested positive for amphetamine, I didn’t even know what that was. I asked, ‘Is that bad? Is that a big deal?’ Because when it comes to drugs, I’m probably like 80 percent of the world, I think hard-core drugs.
“So it kind of blew me away when they said drugs. I said, ‘I’ve never taken drugs. Test me every day if you want.’ At that point, they had a no-tolerance policy and suspended me right there.”
“It was the moment that I was sitting in the NASCAR hauler and they said, ‘You’re not racing today,’ ” Allmendinger said. “I said to them, ‘Well, I guess my career is ending right now if that’s the case.’ I was shocked because I didn’t know what it could have been. I was lost.
He is currently taking part in NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery”, which he says is not focused on him being a “drug addict”, but more about “learning how to deal with stress.”
Allmendinger has a hard road to come back from in the eyes of NASCAR. I think with time Allmendinger can prove himself and will one day be racing in NASCAR again.
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