AJ Allmendinger's indefinite suspension from racing competition is over, with NASCAR officially confirming his reinstatement following the driver's successful completion of the series' Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery program.
Allmendinger tested positive for a stimulant - believed to be an ADHD prescription drug called Adderall - in a random drugs test that took place at Kentucky Speedway at the end of June, and was initially provisionally suspended on July 7.
Following a second test to confirm the original findings, Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely on July 24 and agreed to undertake NASCAR's mandatory treatment and rehabilitation program, which he reportedly completed at the end of August. He has since been waiting for the sanctioning body for formally certify his return to competition status, which came on Tuesday evening.
"I want to thank everyone for their support through this entire process," said Allmendinger. "I appreciate that NASCAR created the the Road to Recovery program, and am grateful for the opportunity to return to competition."
He becomes the first Cup driver suspended for a failed drugs test to earn reinstatement in the series.
Allmendinger told ESPN
at the start of last month that the bespoke road to recovery program was treating his case as more stress management than drugs rehabilitation, and said this week that the process had proved beneficial to him in his approach to his work and career.
"The Road to Recovery program was really helpful to me in getting my priorities reset away from the race track," he insisted. "Honestly, that helped find my love of racing again and why I began racing in the first place. I'm looking forward to taking this experience and be better for it moving forward."
Talking to The Associated Press,
he added: "I feel like I was educated on a lot of things and a lot of things about myself. I just needed to get my priorities straight and my life straightened out ... So much of what I was doing at the race track was dictating the person I was."
Even though he's now eligible to return to driving duties in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition or any of NASCAR's other race series, Allmendinger looks unlikely to make a rapid return behind the wheel.
As a matter of company policy, Penske Racing fired Allmendinger after the positive drugs test result was confirmed, with Sam Hornish Jr. getting the seat of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Cup car in the short-term and the team signing Joey Logano to take over the car full-time in 2013.