NASCAR Sprint Cup: The Countdown Ends at Penske Racing, Allmendinger Suspended

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJuly 23, 2012

MOORESVILLE, NC - JANUARY 24: Team owner Roger Penske speaks to the media,  during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Penske Racing on January 24, 2011 in Mooresville, North Carolina. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

The testing of the "B" sample from Penske Racing driver, A.J. Allmendinger, will take place Tuesday, July 24 at 8:00 a.m. CDT. The results could be game-changing for some of the players in this high stakes race.

Allmendinger was suspended temporarily by NASCAR on July 7, just hours before the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. He had tested and qualified the No. 22 Dodge.

The "A" sample of urine, taken at Kentucky Speedway, revealed a positive result for a substance in violation of the substance-abuse policy in place for NASCAR.

Roger Penske has substituted Sam Hornish Jr. for Allmendinger in the No. 22 car. Hornish drives the No. 12 Dodge for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Penske has stood behind the suspended driver as he awaits the results of the second test conducted by Aegis Laboratories in Nashville, TN.

Allmendinger will have his own toxicologist present at the testing on Tuesday morning. The results are to be revealed to Penske Racing within 24-48 hours.

Should the "B' test prove to be negative, Penske would immediately put him back in the seat of the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. Should it result in a positive, he will be suspended indefinitely from NASCAR.

Hornish does have the goal of returning to the Cup series and he is using the opportunity to drive the No. 22 and prove his ability to the boss.

Penske stated, "This is a great chance for him (Hornish) to show us what he has. He would obviously be someone we would consider if the 22 seat became open."

Penske said of Allmendinger, "I'm more concerned with him as an individual than I am the circumstance. We'll deal with the circumstance in a business way and support him one way or another."

Allmendinger has the right to participate in NASCAR's Road to Recovery program which takes approximately five months if the "B" test is positive. Upon completion, he may be reinstated by NASCAR.

There are conflicts with Hornish and his Nationwide schedule that could make it difficult for him to drive the No. 22 if Allmendinger is not available. He is running for the series title.

Drivers who are free agents after this season or who may be available now will likely be considered to fill the seat of the No. 22 should Allmendinger or Hornish be unable to.

All of those who know Allmendinger hope that the second test is negative, which would void the first. That will most likely not be the case, being as the test is on the same specimen.

The Allmendinger camp officially reported that the substance in question was a stimulant.

NASCAR's substance-abuse policy does not prohibit it from disclosing the source of the positive test. Since 2009, NASCAR has chosen not to do so because of privacy concerns.

So, the countdown is about to begin at Penske Racing. Will Allmendinger return to the No. 22 or perhaps end up back in the IndyCar series?

The answers will begin unfolding in the next few days.

Update: A.J. Allmendinger has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violation of the substance-abuse policy effective July 24.