Following the announcement of his suspension before last Saturday's Coke Zero 400 for a positive drug test, Penske Racing's AJ Allmendinger released a statement Tuesday regarding the matter.
“I have informed NASCAR that I have requested that the "B" sample be tested, following the steps according to NASCAR's 2012 rule book regarding this situation," Allmendinger said in the statement. "I fully respect NASCAR's drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge. I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug.”
Allmendinger's car owner, Roger Penske, provided more candid comments on SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" radio show on Tuesday morning. In an article posted to CBSSports.com, Penske noted that he will stand behind his driver until the process plays itself out.
"We're standing behind (AJ) until we understand the results," said Penske. "I can't say today what that is going to be. I certainly endorse NASCAR's program on substance abuse completely.''
Penske added he will need to assess the situation about what to do with Allmendinger, racing on a one-year contract after replacing Kurt Busch. He confirmed he hasn't yet spoken directly to his driver.
"I think he's probably laying low here trying to understand what the final test will be and then he'll deal with the outcome," said Penske. "He's a very good guy. I hate to see this. I'm more concerned about the individual than I am the circumstance. Long term, one way or another, he's a fighter. He's a good race driver and I'm sure he'll be fine. This is a speed bump that neither one of us contemplated and we have to deal with it professionally."
Sam Hornish Jr., who replaced Allmendinger last weekend at Daytona, is set to fill in for him again this weekend at New Hampshire.