STATEMENT FROM PENSKE RACING:
Penske Racing announced today that AJ Allmendinger has been released as driver of the No. 22 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series. Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR last week for a positive drug test.
“Penske Racing fully supports NASCAR’s substance abuse policy and we are disappointed with AJ’s positive drug test results,” said Roger Penske. “AJ is a terrific driver, a good person and it is very unfortunate that we have to separate at this time. We have invested greatly in AJ and we were confident in his success with our team. The decision to dismiss him is consistent with how we would treat any other Penske Racing team member under similar circumstances. As AJ begins NASCAR’s ‘Road to Recovery’ program, we wish him the best and look forward to seeing him compete again in NASCAR.”
Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the No. 22 Dodge at Pocono this weekend and for the foreseeable future.
Penske Racing will evaluate its options for a driver of the No. 22 car for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
Shell statement on release of driver A.J. Allmendinger
The following statement is attributable to Shell Oil Company:
Shell and Pennzoil fully support NASCAR’s substance abuse policy and Penske Racing’s decision to release A.J. Allmendinger as driver of the No. 22 Dodge Charger following his indefinite suspension by NASCAR.
We wish A.J. the best as he participates in NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program.
Shell and Pennzoil will continue to work closely with Penske Racing to determine plans for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
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Suspended Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger tested positive for amphetamines, his business manager confirmed Wednesday. Tara Ragan, the vice president of Walldinger Racing Inc., said Allmendinger was told when initially suspended by NASCAR on July 7 that amphetamines were found in his drug testing sample taken a week earlier. She said the term was so broad that she opted to refer to it as a stimulant.
Brand names of medications that contain or metabolize into amphetamines include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Desoxyn, Didrex, ProCentra and Vyvanse. Amphetamines also are used recreationally as a performance enhancer, often referred to on the street as “speed.” When overused, they can be psychologically and physically addictive. “With amphetamines, there are a whole slew of things it can be,” Ragan told ESPN.com. “When we say we don’t know what it is, what we were trying to ascertain is what is it in that grouping? In our head, we don’t know. In fact, when the (medical review officer) first called and said he tested positive for amphetamines, the first thing we said was, ‘What does that mean?’” Ragan said the hope is Dr. David Black, who runs Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., which tested Allmendinger’s “A” and “B” urine samples, will help clarify that Thursday when Allmendinger talks to him to be assigned a health care facility for assessment. Meanwhile, Ragan said there are plans to have Allmendinger tested again by an independent laboratory to see whether amphetamines still show up in his system. “We weren’t being evasive,” Ragan said. “In my head, no, we didn’t know what the drug was. Amphetamines was too general for us when trying to figure out what it is.”