[media-credit name=”Simon Scoggins” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]NASCAR announced on September 18th that they have reinstated NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger upon his completion of the road to recovery program.
“I want to thank everyone for their support through this entire process,” Allmendinger said in a prepared statement. “I appreciate that NASCAR created the Road to Recovery program, and am grateful for the opportunity to return to competition.
“The Road to Recovery program was really helpful to me in getting my priorities reset away from the race track. And, honestly, that helped find my love of racing again and why I began racing in the first place. I’m looking forward to taking this experience and be better for it moving forward.”
Allmendinger was suspended on July 24th for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. The whole process started after he was temporarily suspended just hours before the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona following a random drug test at Kentucky on June 29th. A second sample was then tested, with the results coming back positive, resulting in the full suspension being dropped on July 24th.
As Ron Fleshman wrote on SpeedwayMedia.com on August 8th, Allmendinger says that tested positive for the prescribed drug Adderall after not knowing what it was and taking it from a friend to combat fatigue.
As part of the road to recovery program, Allmendinger had to meet with a substance abuse professional and work with that individual to complete the program. It was said back in July that completion of the program could take up to six months.
Allmendinger did have a contract with Penske Racing till the end of the 2012 season, however Penske did let him go out of that contract due to being suspended. Sam Hornish Jr. then took over driving responsibilities of the No. 22 Dodge, with Joey Logano signed on to drive the car in 2013. Allmendinger was a guest of Roger Penske at this past weekend’s IZOD IndyCar Series finale at Auto Club Speedway.
“This is a speed bump in his career, but he’s certainly an option for people on the NASCAR side and the Indy side,” Penske told The Associated Press at Auto Club Speedway. “He did a great job when you think about what he did in Champ Car.”