Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Just hours before the start of Saturday
night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR announced that
Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger has been "temporarily suspended"
from competition for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.
According to NASCAR, Allmendinger was suspended "based upon notification of a
positive 'A' test NASCAR received from the Medical Review Officer as stated in
Section 19-11B (6,7) of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy."
NASCAR also noted, "Pursuant to the rule book, Allmendinger has the
opportunity to request within the next 72 hours that his "B" sample be tested.
Penske Racing immediately called upon Sam Hornish Jr. to replace Allmendinger
in the No. 22 Dodge for the 400-mile race at Daytona. Hornish, who drives for
Penske full-time in the Nationwide Series, arrived at the racetrack moments
before Grand Marshal and former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden gave
the command to start engines.
Hornish had to start from the rear of the field. Allmendinger had qualified
"NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that A.J. Allmendinger was
administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested
positive," Penske Racing said in a statement. "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."
Allmendinger, 30, is currently 23rd in the Sprint Cup point standings. He has
yet to win a race in NASCAR's premier series.
The Sports Network