When it was announced that A.J. Allmendinger failed his random drug test some weeks back, the entire NASCAR racing community seemed stunned. This driver, of the No. 22 Penske Dodge never gave off the vibe of anything other than a healthy, vibrant and upstanding individual.
Even for me, Allmendinger was, if anything, an entertaining personality to listen to in his interviews. He’s rather endearing, for lack of a better term.
Allmendinger came to NASCAR via the Champ Car World Series. He had entered that racing series in 2004 and made a name for himself in the few short years he was there. In 2006 he debuted in NASCAR in the Truck Series at New Hampshire International Speedway. (One of my favorite tracks on the circuit)
He’s not had a stellar career, so to speak, but he’s been making inroads to the halls of success slowly but surely. And his landing a gig at Penske Racing in the No. 22 Dodge showed that one of the bigger names in NASCAR had enough faith in him to hire him, replacing Kurt Busch’s vacated seat in that car.
When Allmendinger was announced as having failed his random drug test, he was suspended from all NASCAR competition. He evidenced shock at the test results and appeared forthright in trying to understand how this could happen.
By all accounts and measures, A.J. Allmendinger is known to be a health conscious individual. He even went to the measure of turning in everything he uses to see if something in his “cabinet” was the issue. This included apparent supplements.
He subsequently had his second “B” sample tested to verify the first test, and that too failed. (Urine samples are split into two. After the first test, drivers can have their second sample tested.) The “B” sample is tested by the same lab.
He immediately applied for NASCAR’s recovery program to be readmitted to racing.
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