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Allmendinger suspended over failed drugs test

"NASCAR has a strict drug-testing program that Penske Racing fully supports. Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps. Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the #22 car in tonight's Coke Zero 400."

Allmendinger's Cup team mate at Penske, Brad Keselowski, also made clear that he would not be answering any questions on the matter: "No comments on 22 car tonight as we focus on tonight's race. Thank[s] in advance," he tweeted.

There was no statement from Allmendinger himself.

Other than organising an emergency replacement driver for the weekend, the team have not been able to have internal discussions about the crisis since it broke earlier today. Roger Penske is still in the process of returning from holiday in Europe and team president Tim Cindric is in Toronto overseeing the organisation's IndyCar weekend race operations.

Allmendinger joined Penske from Richard Petty Motorsports at the start of the 2012 season following the team's decision to part company with former driver Kurt Busch.

The last high-profile driver to fall foul of NASCAR's random drug testing policy was Jeremy Mayfield in 2009. The legal fall-out from that case - with Mayfield counter-suing NASCAR over his suspension - has only recently come to a conclusion.




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#22 Penske Racing crew chief Todd Gordon talks with driver AJ Allmendinger during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
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AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Bush’s Beans Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position Saturday, August 8, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. Joining him on the front row will be Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Chevrolet SS. Allmendinger is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing) (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Bush’s Beans Chevrolet SS, celebrates after capturing the pole position Saturday, August 8, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. Joining him on the front row will be Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Chevrolet SS. Allmendinger is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole board after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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