News & Media

Allmendinger's camp explains failed drug test

July 25, 2012, Joe Menzer,

Walldinger Racing VP says positive result was for stimulant; meds to be tested

AJ Allmendinger, who was suspended by NASCAR prior to last Saturday's Coke Zero 400 for failing a random drug test issued a week earlier at Kentucky Speedway, tested positive for a stimulant according to a release from his business affairs team.

Tara Ragan -- vice president of Walldinger Racing Inc., which handles Allmendinger's business affairs -- clarified the positive test for a stimulant in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. She also said that Allmendinger was uncertain as to what could have led to the positive test, and that he was attempting to determine if it could have been inadvertently triggered by his consumption of an over-the-counter product.

Ragan said the positive test occurred with Allmendinger's "A" sample results and that she hoped more could be learned following completion of examination of his "B" sample. Under NASCAR rules, Allmendinger had 72 hours from the announcement of the first test to request that the second sample be tested -- a right he exercised on Monday.

"In an effort to help our colleagues in the media report on this in a timely and accurate manner, we wanted to provide some additional details regarding AJ's sample 'A' test results," Ragan said. "AJ tested positive for a stimulant. He has no idea why the first test was positive, and he has never knowingly taken any prohibited substance.

"AJ is collecting his medicines and supplements for testing to determine whether an over-the-counter product caused his positive test. AJ and all of us at Walldinger Racing respect NASCAR's testing program, and he has requested that his 'B' sample be tested as part of the process of getting to the bottom of this. We will have the opportunity to review all of the scientific data surrounding the test following the 'B' sample test, but our understanding is that AJ's test was slightly above the threshold."

Ragan added that she was uncertain as to when results of the 'B' sample would be made available.

"As of [Wednesday] morning, we had not been given notice of when the testing of the 'B' sample will take place," she said. "Thanks again for all of the support of our fans, team, and sponsors as we continue working through the process."

Allmendinger said in a statement released Tuesday morning that he hoped to get the situation resolved so he could return to the No. 22 Dodge he had been driving for Penske Racing before the positive test and his temporary suspension.

"I fully respect NASCAR's drug-usage policy and the reasons they have it," he said. "I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug."

After Allmendinger was suspended Saturday afternoon, Penske Racing officials hurriedly located driver Sam Hornish Jr. -- who was taping a television program in Charlotte at the time -- and flew him on a team jet to Daytona, where he arrived at the track and climbed into the No. 22 Dodge just minutes before the command to start engines for the Coke Zero 400. He finished 33rd.

With Allmendinger's situation in flux, Hornish was added Monday to the entry list for Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Team officials later confirmed that Hornish would indeed drive the No. 22 car again during Sunday's Sprint Cup event.