TORONTO (AP) — Roger Penske was disappointed after learning his NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger was suspended for a failed drug test.
But the team owner added Sunday it’s too early to reach any conclusions until getting the results of Allmendinger’s second test in the next few days.
“You know it’s a disappointment at this particular time, but we’re going to wait and see what the second test results are before we make any comment or decisions. I don’t think it’s fair to him,” Penske said outside the Team Penske pits at the Honda Indy in Toronto.
Penske said he supports NASCAR’s drug-testing policy and isn’t sure whether the suspension will be a public relations blow to his racing team.
“I think if you look at sports, things like this happen,” said Penske, who arrived in Toronto on Saturday night. “It’s unfortunate, but I don’t want to really make a statement pro or con right now. I’m counting on the test being proper for him within 72 hours, and at that point they’ll make a decision.”
The temporary suspension was announced by NASCAR on Saturday evening, 90 minutes before Allmendinger was scheduled to compete at Daytona International Speedway in the Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger’s “A” sample taken last weekend at Kentucky Speedway came back positive, and the driver has 72 hours to request his “B” sample be tested.
The news forced Penske Racing to scramble in getting Sam Hornish Jr. to fill in for Allmendinger. Penske flew Hornish in from Charlotte, N.C., and he arrived minutes before the race began.
• Tony Stewart charged past Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth on the final lap Saturday night, then held on to win the Coke Zero 400 as his challengers stacked up in a melee at Daytona International Speedway.
Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle likely would have made one final attempt to beat Stewart, but Biffle wiggled and cars began sliding all over the track.
Nobody could then catch Stewart, who sailed away to his third win of the season. The defending Sprint Cup Series champion is tied with Brad Keselowski for most wins this season.