AJ Allmendinger was suspended for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy after failing a random drug test at Kentucky Speedway on July 24th. A few weeks later Allmendinger was fired by Penske Racing. AJ, in a later interview, stated that he failed the random drug test by taking amphetamines. Allmendinger said stress was the biggest factory in taking the drug one time and that stress would be the main emphasis in his “Road to Recovery” program so he could return to NASCAR.
After nearly three months of going through the “Road to Recovery” program, AJ Allmendinger has completed his program and has is allowed to rejoin the competition.
AJ Allmendinger on his reinstatement, “I appreciate that NASCAR created the the Road to Recovery program, and am grateful for the opportunity to return to competition. The Road to Recovery program was really helpful to me in getting my priorities reset away from the race track. And, honestly, that helped find my love of racing again and why I began racing in the first place. I’m looking forward to taking this experience and be better for it moving forward.”
At the moment there is no deal in place for him to drive in any races for the remainder of the 2012 season. Roger Penkse, owner of Penske Racing, has stated that he is willing to re-hire AJ Allmendinger but we have yet to see that happen. There is no deal in place for Allmendinger in 2013 but that could change now that he has been reinstated back into NASCAR competition. Some sort of deal with any team, if they choose, would allow AJ Allmendinger to make his return to NASCAR.
This is a great story for NASCAR as it is seldom that people complete the “Road to Recovery” program and return to the sport. Hopefully Allmendinger can find an opportunity to drive for a team in the near future and we can have positive story to talk about going into the 2013 NASCAR season.