NASCAR suspended championship-winning crew chief Todd Parrott indefinitely Thursday for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.
Parrott is currently the crew chief for the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports car driven by Aric Almirola. He is most well known for being Dale Jarrett's crew chief when he won the Cup championship in 1999, along with a pair of victories in the Daytona 500 (1996 and 2000).
Parrott has been a crew chief in NASCAR's premiere division since 1995. In addition to working with Almirola and Jarrett, he's also been the crew chief for Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth and Marcos Ambrose. Parrott has amassed 31 wins, 144 top fives and 230 top 10s.
Almirola tweeted his support of his now suspended crew chief shortly after the suspension was announced:
Todd Parrott is a good crew chief, a good person, and a good friend. I'll be a big cheerleader of his to get thru this difficult time.— Aric Almirola (@aric_almirola) October 17, 2013
In a statement, RPM said it fully supports Parrott's suspension. RPM vice president of competition Sandy Johns will serve as interim crew chief for the No. 43 team until further notice.
"We have an expectation of all RPM employees to conduct themselves at the highest level of professionalism and within the competitive confines as set forth by NASCAR," Johns said in a statement. "We are very disappointed that one of our employees did not meet our expectations and we completely support NASCAR, their policies and final decisions when it comes to the substance abuse policy."
It is unclear whether Parrott, who will enter NASCAR's Road to Recovery program, will remain employed with RPM. The organization said any decision on Parrott's job status would be made next week.