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Allmendinger starts 'road to recovery'

Suspended Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger has waived his right of appeal and said that he will start on the mandatory 'road to recovery' programme with immediate effect.
Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger will not appeal the positive result in a random drugs test that has seen him suspended indefinitely from all NASCAR competition, and has said that he will immediately start the mandatory 'road to recovery' treatment and rehabiliation program he needs to successfully undertake before he can be reinstated.

"He's officially on the 'road to recovery,'" NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said on Wednesday. "In fact he just signed this afternoon [the] letter that provides him the first steps," he said.

By signing the letter, Allmendinger accepts the drug test findings and waives his right to an appeal under NASCAR's substance abuse rules.

“We're very pleased that AJ Allmendinger has chosen to participate in the NASCAR Road to Recovery program,” NASCAR's official statement on the matter said. "It's designed, as proven, to provide a roadmap leading to a return to competition, and we wish him the best of luck. As we have with other competitors, we look forward to the day when the program administrator recommends him for reinstatement.”

Allmendinger's business representative explained why the driver had decided to act quickly to sign up for the program, even while some aspects of the drugs findings remain unclear.

“We made the decision this morning to do that, and exhaust every resource that we can, including those that have been given to us by NASCAR, so that we can make that process as quick as possible,” said Tara Ragan, the vice president of Walldinger Racing Inc. “We didn't want to wait. We've already lost a lot of very valuable time. We didn't want to sit here and wait."

There's still some confusion over whether the precise nature of the substance that caused Allmendinger's positive result, with different media sources carrying different stories. In some, Ragan appears to be waiting for confirmation from NASCAR as to the substance involved, while in others she is reported as confirming that it was an amphetamine.

"It was not cocaine, not ecstasy, not marijuana, not alcohol. Those are not stimulants. Not methamphetamine. The test does show that it wasn't any of those," Ragan told SPEED TV channel's NASCAR magazine show. “There are things we know that it's not. We haven't been informed yet of what it is.”

NASCAR's David Higdon insisted that individuals found to have violated NASCAR's banned-substance list are informed of “the exact substance that he or she has tested positive for," in the letter that they receive formally notifying them of the positive finding.




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Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, walks on the grid after NASCAR announced that AJ Allmendinger was temporarily suspended prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sam Hornish Jr. was Allmendinger replacement for the Coke Zero 400. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger walking in pit lane after practice for the Sprint Cup event at Pocono. (Photo credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. (second from right) with the managers and drivers of Penske  Racing during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday in Concord, NC. AJ Allemendinger is to his right followed by Brad Keselowski. Team owner Roger Penske is second from left. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
#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)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

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