Jun 9, 2012; Long Pond, PA, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger (22) during qualifying for the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Sam Hornish Jr. to replace Allmendinger in tonight's Coke Zero 400.
Penske Racing driver AJ Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from NASCAR for failing a random substance abuse test administered last week at Kentucky Speedway.
Allmendinger will miss tonight's Daytona race and may be out for much longer than that. The "A" sample showed a violation of NASCAR's substance abuse policy and Allmendinger has the right to request his "B" sample be tested within 72 hours.
If Allmendinger's "B" sample is confirmed as a failure, he would be indefinitely suspended.
"NASCAR will follow its policies and procedures set forth in the rule book in dealing with this matter," NASCAR vice president of operations Steve O'Donnell said.
Penske will use Sam Hornish Jr. in Allmendinger's car tonight. Allmendinger becomes the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to be suspended for failing a substance abuse test since Jeremy Mayfield in 2009.
"NASCAR has a strict drug testing program that Penske Racing fully supports," Penske Racing said in a statement. "Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps."
This isn't the first problem with substance abuse for Allmendinger.
In October 2009, the driver was nailed for drunken driving but did not miss any races. He was found to have a blood alcohol level of .08 at the time.
He left Richard Petty Motorsports to replace Kurt Busch at Penske in the offseason.