Richard Petty Motorsports releases crew chief Todd Parrott after failed drug test

Geoff Burke

Crew chief Todd Parrott has been released by Richard Petty Motorsports after violating NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy.

A violation of NASCAR's substance-abuse policy has cost crew chief Todd Parrott his job with Richard Petty Motorsports.

The team confirmed the move in a statement Tuesday. Parrott had been the crew chief for the No. 43 car driven by Aric Almirola, but was suspended indefinitely last week by NASCAR after failing a random drug test.

"I'm going to get the problem fixed and make sure that something like this never happens again."-Todd Parrott

During an interview on Motor Racing Network's "NASCAR Live" Tuesday night, Parrott admitted to host Eli Gold he made a mistake. He declined, however, to reveal which banned substance he took.

"I was in a dark moment, and it happened," Parrott said. "The next morning when I woke up, I just couldn't believe what I'd done and beat myself up pretty bad about it. I had to go face the truth."

Parrott is best known for being the former crew chief for Dale Jarrett. The two won the 1999 Cup Championship and hold a pair of victories in the Daytona 500 (1996 and 2000) and Brickyard 400 (1996 and 1999). Parrot said he has been admitted to NASCAR's Road to Recovery program and will meet with a counselor Wednesday.

"I'm going to get the problem fixed and make sure that something like this never happens again," he said. "I love this sport. I want to get back in this sport and work with my friends in the garage area."

RPM promoted car chief Greg Ebert to interim crew chief beginning with this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway. Ebert has been with the No. 43 team for two years, and previously spent five years serving as the car chief for Matt Kenseth at Roush Fenway Racing.

"We are confident in Greg's leadership abilities and we will give him the resources he needs to be successful," said Sammy Johns, RPM's vice president of operations and competition. "He is very familiar with our race program and gives us a more seamless transition. More importantly, he gives Aric the best opportunity to finish the season strong."

Almirola is currently 18th in points with a best finish this season of fifth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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