What’s Next for A.J. Allmendinger? 

Photo by Paul Strickland Jr. / TheRacingExperts.Com
Sam Hornish Jr. has run the No. 22 car the last two races and is scheduled to for the next upcoming event.

By Zachary Lange
TheRacingExperts.Com Reporter



Don’t commit the crime if you can’t do the time.

That’s the motto that all hero’s use to explain to the criminals when the antagonist protest going to the big house.

The big house won’t be the destination for A.J. Allmendinger, 30, but rather the doghouse of NASCAR after failing a random drug test.

         What will he have to do?

Allmendinger, a California native will have to undergo months of a drug recovery program NASCAR set up to rehab their drivers back to a competitive nature. But that’s just to get back into the business. To get on with a team, to win back the respect of other drivers, sponsors, and crew members, is an entirely different and much more difficult road to recovery. He will to do tons of damage control for his career. That means interviews, charity events, and lots of personal appearances just to even have a shot at a new chance.
         How long is his suspension?
 It’s indefinite, meaning as long as it takes until he completes the Road to Recovery. David Higdon, NASCAR Director of Integrated Marketing Communications told Speed.com just how long it will be to recover for Allmendinger by stating “it really has to do with the individual situation surrounding the competitor, the substance, and ultimately, the evaluation done by the program administrator. They will have somebody who is an expert in substance abuse to look at the information, review the facts, (follow) through the process of the interview, and then determine what exactly the roadmap should be for him to return to competition.”

         Will he lose his ride at Penske?
 That is TBD. As of press time, Penske hasn’t given a press release about Allmendinger’s career with Penske, however he said before the B sample was tested and if it comes back negative that Penske will “deal with whatever the outcome is at the proper time.”

Honestly because this has been a lot of bad press for the team, it would come to me as a shock if long time sponsor Shell wanted Allmendinger back as their driver. And they have partial control over who is in the car. But hey, crazier things have happened.
         What did he test positive for?
As of press time, the only thing that Tara Ragan, Allmendinger’s business manager, has said is that it was an amphetamine. Amphetamines have often been attributed to performance enhancing, due to their effects. Effects of amphetamines are often hyperactivity, energy, and alertness. Major League Baseball players often used these to enhance their game, until being banned in 2006. The specific drug that Allmendinger took hasn’t been released, but it can be from as simple as Adderall (often an ADD medication) to as severe as methamphetamines (meth) or MDMA (ecstasy).

         How did fellow drivers react?
As close knit of a family NASCAR drivers are, many were shocked to see this development. Jimmie Johnson was “certainly shocked to see that,” he said in an interview with Autoweek.com.

Driver Carl Edwards put it best by simply stating “let's be honest, it's an imperfect world. People are imperfect.”

         Overall, is Allmendinger’s career over?
While his career may not be over, it certainly is going to take a lot of repair to get back on the right track. However, if he puts in a lot of hard work into his recovery program, and if he gets a break, Allmendinger may not be out. While he is only the second driver to have ever failed, he is the first to be graceful and check himself into the Road to Recovery, instead of taking NASCAR to court and trying to fight it, and that could help him.

Allmendinger has made a significant error in his career, and that’s ever fooling with drugs when he is a respected and looked-up to individual. However, everyone deserves second chances, as long as they give themselves the opportunity to learn and grow from their past experiences

It’s going to be a long road to recover a lot of things lost, for the double deuce.