AJ Allmendinger Reinstated By NASCAR After Completing Road To Recovery

AJ Allmendinger's "Road to Recovery" was a short one.

NASCAR announced Tuesday it has reinstated Allmendinger after the driver completed the sanctioning body's requirements for its substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Allmendinger had to undergo drug abuse counseling after he failed a NASCAR drug test in July and later acknowledged taking a pill from a friend of a friend.

"I want to thank everyone for their support through this entire process," Allmendinger said in a statement. "I appreciate that NASCAR created the Road to Recovery program and am grateful for the opportunity to return to competition.

"The Road to Recovery program was really helpful to me in getting my priorities reset away from the race track. And honestly, that helped find my love of racing again and why I began racing in the first place."

Allmendinger also said he was looking forward to being a better person because of the experience, but it's unclear what he will do now. He's unlikely to land a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride for 2013 – the driver was released from Penske Racing's No. 22 car after the failed test – but there's speculation he could drive an IndyCar.

Allmendinger was impressive in Champ Cars before coming to NASCAR, so he could return to open wheel in search of a new start. On the other hand, he's said he wants to stay in NASCAR.

If he can find a team to let him drive, Allmendinger could return as soon as this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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