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Parrott suspended for substance abuse violation

October 17, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Parrott suspended for substance abuse violation
Crew chief for Almirola, RPM's No. 43 out indefinitely

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NASCAR announced Thursday that championship-winning crew chief Todd Parrott has been suspended after violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.

Parrott currently serves as crew chief for the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team for driver Aric Almirola. He is allowed to return to competition upon successful completion of NASCAR's Road to Recovery treatment program.

Sammy Johns, RPM's vice president of operations and competition, will take over as interim crew chief of the No. 43 Ford until further notice, beginning this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

Parrott was crew chief during NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett's Sprint Cup championship season in 1999 and also worked with former series champions Bobby Labonte and Matt Kenseth. Parrott was also the crew chief for two of Jarrett's three Daytona 500 wins, guiding the No. 88 car for team owner Robert Yates to Victory Lane there in 1996 and 2000.

He joined the Richard Petty Motorsports team in the summer of 2010, four years removed from a brief stint with the team when it was known as Petty Enterprises. Since then, Parrott has scored two victories with RPM, overseeing both of Marcos Ambrose's Sprint Cup wins at Watkins Glen International.

Parrott shifted from the No. 9 team of Ambrose to work with Almirola in the No. 43 for the final 10 races of 2012. So far this season, Almirola ranks 18th in Sprint Cup points with one top-five finish and six top-10s.

Richard Petty Motorsports said in a team statement that it "fully supports" NASCAR's ruling.

"We have an expectation of all RPM employees to conduct themselves at the highest level of professionalism and within the competitive confines as set forth by NASCAR," Johns said. "We are very disappointed that one of our employees did not meet our expectations and we completely support NASCAR, their policies and final decisions when it comes to the substance abuse policy."

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