Allmendinger’s NASCAR Career Is Effectively Over

Since we broke the news on Twitter before Saturday night’s race that A.J. Allmendinger was being replaced by Sam Hornish, the Dinger’s world has come apart. NASCAR announced he had failed a drug test, and Allmendinger has since requested the B sample be tested and admitted he tested positive for a stimulant. Penske has tabbed Hornish to again pilot the #22 Dodge this weekend at Loudon, but beyond that we don’ t know. If Allmendinger isn’t able to work this out with NASCAR, and is indeed out for an extended period of time, it is very likely that his career in NASCAR is all but over.

Before this season Allmendinger sought, and was granted his release from Richard Petty Motorsports to pursue the Penske opening. He was signed to replace Kurt Busch, but only to a one year deal. Dinger would serve as a stop gap for Penske until they could either find another driver, or Allmendinger flourished.

Unfortunately for A.J. though, this season has not gone well. His 23rd spot in the points combined with an average finish of 20.6 meant his chances of retaining the 22 seat were probably not good anyway. But now with a failed drug test on his record, there is no way Penske keeps him, barring some sort of miraculous reversal by NASCAR.

So now, with the failed test and a marginal record on track, his career options will be extremely limited. No big team or sponsor will take a chance on him, which leaves the start-and-park teams, or a move to a different (and probably lower) series.

For a guy that only a few years ago appeared to have huge potential, it really is a shame. Whether he knowingly ingested something banned or not, we are all responsible for what we put into our bodies. In any case, I hope he is able to get this worked out and get back on his feet.

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11 Responses to “Allmendinger’s NASCAR Career Is Effectively Over”

  1. Brendan says:

    First off, I think it is important to realize that AJ’s struggles this year have been greatly contributed to car issues and CC Todd Gordon, who has made some absolute terrible calls (see Sonoma). Penske even said at one point, ““We’re excited about AJ, and we believe we’ve let him down at times this sea­son,” so he knew that mechanical failures played a large part in poor finishes. Also, just rotten luck (Wrecked in pits in 500, hit at Pocono lap 1, etc.) Last year AJ had better results in the RPM car, so we know that at full strength he is not a 21st place driver. I can’t make excuses for not having a win yet, because it has been a couple years, but considering the rides he has had I think his past couple seasons should be considered successful.

    Now with the current issue, I don’t know what exactly to say. AJ says he wouldn’t do it, so as a loyal fan who has never been lied to by his favorite driver, I take him at his word. If he says he would never knowingly take an illegal substance, I believe him. I hope the test comes back negative, and Allmendinger is cleared, but if he isn’t, myself and many other Allmendinger fans will still has his back, because true fans stick behind their driver in a time of crisis. I was a big fan of Kevin Grubb, and I know it’s nothing to take lightly. However, I still believe that this is a misunderstanding, because if AJ says it is, I believe it is. I hope it was that “Fuel in a Bottle” garbage, but we won’t know for a little longer. I’m just very irritated at people already proclaiming Sam Hornish Jr. the driver of the #22 car when AJ’s second test hasn’t even been released yet.

    I’m not upset with your article or anything if that’s what it sounds like…I just wanted to say this. I hope AJ’s test comes back with great results, and if not, this long time NASCAR fan will have a tough time tuning into the race every weekend. Go AJ, and god speed everyone.

  2. Doug says:

    A.J. , I doubt you read this comment but maybe even a friend of yours will see it and mention this to you. Turn to the Demi Lovato story watch the “Stay Strong” documentary , read up on the classy road she took. If you didn’t take an enhancement GREAT! If you did we all have made bad choices do what Mz. Lovato did and be a class act admit your wrong doings , admit mistakes were made.. And we’ll find a place in racing for you (World of Outlaws, IRL , Grand Am Rolex Series)….a previous driver pretended he did not have these wrong doings and we all know that story. It made the person look far worse…….Seriously Lovato took the high road now she has a tour this summer, a gig on X Factor etc. etc….Her honesty is what really inspired people.

  3. Chris Fiegler says:

    I will bet that AJ Allmendinger will be banned from NASCAR for Life & Maybe Race in the IZOD IndyCar Series in the Near Future.

  4. neon says:

    Guess we’ll find out soon enough the details. All that aside, I really wished AJ had stayed the course in open wheel. I don’t blame him for going where the money is, especially w/ the CART and IRL uncertainty of the early-mid 2000′s. But, he was on a bit of a roll in champ car and was better “geared” for open wheel….IMHO!

  5. ATS says:

    It’s hard to jump to conclusions yet until the results for the B sample come out. However, if it’s positive then yes, his career in NASCAR is over. You don’t like to see these things happen. In saying that, AJ shouldn’t have been in the #22 to begin with. I will agree, he’s had a few races where bad luck was involved but you could say that of all the drivers. Simply put, he’s a C driver at best.

  6. oldirtracker says:

    I just wish the media and all the bashers would simply wait until the final results were released before making rash statements, doomsday senerios, or just hateful downing of a guy who should be the poster child for Nascar. Although he has not had a stellar season, most of that can be attributed to equipment failure, bad pit stops, bad calls by crew chief , and wrecks not of AJ’s making. Lets give the guy a chance to prove his guilt or innocense before we crucify him. I would rather have 10 Dingers representing me as a sponsor than all the Busch’s and vanilla Johnsons you can buy.

  7. Shawn Fehr says:

    I Still havn’t forgot the carnage hornish caused on his first go round & still think Penske should make repairations to the other teams. lol Good Luck Dinger

  8. Joe K says:

    If this is caused by a supplement or an energy drink then it is a different set of circumstances than illegal drugs and narcotics. Does not make it right but would make me view it in a less harsh light. All sponsors of these products will be going away soon if this is the case.

  9. ATS says:

    What a funny statement…you’d rather have 10 Dingers representing your company…ok, numerous championships and at least 3 wins a year versus zero wins and no chance at a championship…sounds like a personal problem with Johnson but good luck to your company.

  10. Barry says:

    Either way, my support of Nascar is about over.

  11. Ralph says:

    He is a professional I’m certain that he knows
    What he is taking to enhance his training .I
    Think nascar has to conduct these types of drug test for the safety of everyone,period.

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