Has NASCAR Destroyed A.J.’s Career?

Maybe a career has been destroyed.  Just like the teacher I once knew who was accused of unthinkable acts, lost his job, but exonerated.  It didn’t make much difference.  From the time he was accused, he was guilty in the world of public opinion.  He survived because he wasn’t A.J Allmendinger, the driver of the No. 22 Penske Dodge.  It’s unlikely that Allmendinger will be as lucky. The teacher survived and went on to do work in another field, but all Allmendinger knows is racing and that career is in jeopardy.

What drug did he test positive for? It’s a secret and NASCAR isn’t telling. Heroin? Marijuana? Alcohol? NASCAR’s policy says they won’t disclose the drug. Therein lays the problem.

Most of us support the testing of drivers, crew members, and anyone else that has anything to do with NASCAR racing, but the fact that the drug is not disclosed leaves a lot for speculation.  Most of that is bad.  Major League Baseball tells us the drug that the player tested positive for and gives us a reason why the player is suspended. Not NASCAR.  Many people want to know How to Beat a Drug Test – Health Street, you can learn what works and what is pure myth.

It takes me back to long ago when Tim Richmond was banned from the sport. The unofficial line was that Richmond has huge amounts of Tylenol in his system. In fact, Richmond was suffering from AIDS. Yes, it was early when AIDS was not understood, but the secrecy was more than I could stand. What was the problem?

Late Monday, Allmendinger and Penske Racing requested testing of the “B” test (each driver gives the testing facility, Aegis, two samples), which could exonerate Allmendinger, but what damage has been done to this driver’s career.  If it had been revealed what driver he was tested positive for, it might give sponsors, fans, and the sport a better idea of what is going on here.  Only a court order in the Jeremy Mayfield case let us know about the details of the case.  It’s likely that this is something that the promising driver will live with for the rest of his career.

It’s time for NASCAR to reveal the reason for suspensions and what the drug is that the drivers are suspended or temporarily suspended for.  It happens when cars are found not to be in line with the rules. It happens when driver steps over the line in their dealings with the press or the rules. Why not on drug testing? Do drivers have to spend huge money with attorneys to reveal their infractions when it comes to a drug test?

Luckily it’s only happened twice.  The first was Jeremy Mayfield and the events afterward were pretty evident, but it should be revealed immediately so that a career is ruined in the meantime.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Ron Fleshman
Ron Fleshmanhttp://www.ris-news.com
Ron Fleshman has followed NASCAR racing since attending his first race at Martinsville Speedway in 1964. He joined the Motor Sports Forum on the CompuServe network in the 1980s and became a reporter for Racing Information Systems in 1994. In 2002, he was named NASCAR Editor for RIS when it appeared on the World Wide Web as www.motorsportsforum.com. He can now be found at www.ris-news.com. Ron is a member of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. You can find Ron following and reporting on the top three NASCAR divisions each week. As a lifer in his support of racing, he attends and reports on nearly 30 events a year and as a member of the motor sports media, his passion has been racing for 47 years. He lives with his family in rural West Virginia and works in the insurance industry when not on the road to another track.

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  1. I think that you should indeed get facts before commenting. When did Jeremy Mayfield ever fail a court ordered drug test? Never, that’s when. The problem is people that don’t know the facts make them up to suit their point. Sorry, but you are incorrect in your statement. That’s a pretty big comment to have wrong. Just a minor issue with the Mother thing. It was his Mother In Law, married to his Dad since Jeremy was in his mid 30’s. Again, big difference.

  2. Right on, Lee. The underachieving one’s post sounds just like a NA$CAR press release. 4 year rant? If you had been screwed like Jeremy had you would rant also.

    NA$CAR’s drug policy is broken. They have screwed it up like they have screwed up the COT. Who can tell the difference in them? They all are the same style. NA$CAR needs help and they know it.

    After AJ is cleared, I hope he selects the best attorney to get what he has coming. Maybe get into some of the Suits deep pockets.

  3. Would you like having your results of a blood alcohol test being on the front page of the local newspaper? Of course not. I doubt anyone wants their medical details published.
    If you failed a drug test while applying for a job. There would be no second test. If you failed a substance abuse result from the police department while driving. No second test. All of these things are a matter of safety and driving a 200 mph hot rod is no different.

    A professional driver knows the things he has to avoid and if he doesn’t then he is reckless in any sense.

    • Well how about driving home at 75 miles an hour with the drunks who think they Jr.? And did you take an asprin today? Opps you failed.

  4. Jeremy Mayfield has become the poster child of drugs and NASCAR. But let’s not be so naive there Chris, it’s obvious you don’t know the details of his case.

    Jeremy tested positive for an amphetamine, caused by Adderall and Claritin, which he disclosed prior to taking the test per NASCAR rules. Then when the test came back positive for an amphetamine, NASCAR had their doctors determine it was for what was implied as “meth”.

    Don’t you find it slightly suspicious that he was never allowed to use the results from his doctor or the results from a company that all Fortune 500 companies use, LabCorp. But rather, was mandated to go by the results of NASCAR’s appointed Dr?

    Come on now, does that make any sense???

    And even if he did use an illegal drug, why is NASCAR the only sport that essentially kicks their athletes to the curb rather than working with them to rehab them like all other sports? It sends a very negative message!

    If Jeremy was some meth head like has been reported the past 4 years, where is the proof? Where are the eyewitnesses? Why didn’t he ever display the behavior that is indicative of a meth head? Have you ever been around a meth addict? It’s not pretty, and it’s obvious to everyone around them that they’re on meth.

    As for AJ, let’s give it some time and see what shakes out, hopefully we won’t have yet another driver who’s career gets ruined by the NASCAR mafia.

  5. Frankly it’s nobody’s business what drug was found in Allmendinger’s sample. None of us would want our medical results published in the news and AJ is no different. This matter is between Allmendinger and NASCAR. From what I have read NASCAR immediately met with Allmendinger and gave him the opportunity to explain the results. For NASCAR to suspend Allmendinger and publicize the failed drug test they must have a high level of certainty. The chances of the “B” sample coming back negative are very slim.

  6. Yes they have. NA$CAR is on another witchhunt. They destroyed the career of Jeremy Mayfield. They are so big, have so many rules and so many lawyers to fight an individual, nobody has a chance.

    • wtf? Jeremy DESERVED to have his career destroyed not only did he fail multiple NASCAR drug tests but the courts themselves tested him and he still tested positive. Then he goes on this 4 year rant trying to hurt the image of NASCAR, and failing miserably doing so. He even through his own mother under the bus trying to distract the courts from the real issue. Sounds like you’re just being an anti-NASCAR troll.

  7. Um, NASCAR won’t release it before the second test comes through. Why would they release something before the second test? called common sense.


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