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He’s the most prolific driver since Jeremy Mayfield in 2009 was suspended for a failed drug test. Mayfield has fought NASCAR over the test since, and has not raced a NASCAR event since.

Asked if Penske Racing is supporting Allmendinger, Cindric indicated the team is behind its first-year driver.

“He’s our driver and that why it’s important to understand all the facts,” Cindric said. “It’s very difficult to speculate on how it should be handled. On one side, we have personal relationships, and on the other, well, it’s a business side. We’ve not been through this before, and we just really want to understand this some more.”

As the team waited for Hornish, Penske officially briefly grabbed Kenny Wallace to be on stand-by just in case Hornish didn’t make it in time.

Wallace was wearing one of Kevin Harvick’s firesuits and had Allmendinger’s helmet, and the team had changed the seat, shifter, the seat belts, the pedals and the steering column to suit Hornish.

“Well, that was drama,” Wallace said. “It was a little uncomfortable for everybody.”

Allmendinger in 2009 pleaded no contest in North Carolina to a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired. He was given a 60-day suspended sentence, 18 months unsupervised probation and 24 hours of community service.

Allmendinger took responsibility a day after the arrest.

“Obviously it was my fault,” Allmendinger said. “It was a bad decision. I wish I could take it back. I’d do anything to be able to take it back, but that’s life. You can’t. So all I can do is go out there and learn from it and be a lot better person from it, which I will be, and, hopefully, educate other people that you don’t have to have a ton of drinks to (be) drunk.”

Allmendinger drove for Richard Petty Motorsports at the time, and the team put him on probation through 2010 and fined him $10,000.