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AJ Allmendinger Parked For Failing Drug Test

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 7 2012

A.J Allmendinger to sit out tonight's race. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Christa L Thomas)

Penske Racing driver AJ Allmendinger has  been temporarily suspended by NASCAR for failing a drug test and will not compete in tonight’s Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR announced the suspension Saturday afternoon, saying he was temporarily suspended for his “A” sample including a banned substance. The test was conducted at Kentucky Speedway last weekend.

The 30-year-old driver is 23rd in the Cup standings and can ask for his “B” sample to be tested within 72 hours.

If his “B” sample comes back positive, he will be indefinitely suspended and will not be allowed to drive until he completes a recovery program prescribed by NASCAR. The rehabilitation program would be tailored specifically for Allmendinger after he gets evaluated by a substance-abuse professional.

Allmendinger is coming off consecutive ninth-place finishes.

Penske Racing issued the following statement late Saturday afternoon: “NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that AJ Allmendinger was administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested positive. NASCAR has a strict drug testing program that Penske Racing fully supports. Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps. Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the No. 22 car in tonight’s Coke Zero 400.”

Hornish has 110 Cup starts. He has no victories but eight top-10 finishes. He competed in full Cup seasons in 2009 and 2010.

His last Cup start came at Kansas Speedway earlier this year where he finished 19th.

Allmendinger is in his first season Penske Racing as it was announced in December that he would replace Kurt Busch, who was released after a series of emotional outbursts and difference of opinion with Penske officials over the direction of the team.

A former open-wheel racer, Allmendinger began full time in Cup in 2007 with Red Bull Racing. He spent nearly two years there and then three at Richard Petty Motorsports.

He has 169 career starts with five top-five finishes, including a second at Martinsville earlier this year.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 7 2012
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