- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
Allmendinger back in Cup with full-time ride
HAMPTON, GA. (AP) - Less than 14 months after a devastating blow to his career, AJ Allmendinger reclaimed a full-time ride in the Sprint Cup series.
JTG Daugherty Racing announced Saturday that Allmendinger will take over the No. 47 car from Bobby Labonte next season, capping his comeback from a positive drug test in July 2012 that resulted in a NASCAR suspension and losing his job with Roger Penske's Sprint Cup team.
"I didn't deserve a second chance," Allmendinger said during a news conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "But I worked really hard to get there."
He went through a NASCAR-mandated treatment program and managed to land a handful of one-off Cup rides, in addition to getting a chance from Penske to drive in a few IndyCar events. Allmendinger competed in the Indianapolis 500, led 23 laps and finished seventh _ a performance he calls "probably the biggest moment of my career." He also won two road races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driving for Penske.
Allmendinger landed with a one-car team that includes former NBA star Brad Daugherty among its owners, having persuaded his new employers that he's improved as a person since a positive test for the prescription drug Adderall.
"It's really not hit me what happened the last 13 or 14 months," Allmendinger said. "More than anything, I wouldn't change any of it. I feel so good about it now. It's taken a lot of hard work to get where I want to be in this sport."
With Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, enduring a tough season, Allmendinger was tapped to drive the car at Kentucky and Watkins Glen. He'll be behind the wheel again Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway and continue to fill in as needed while Labonte recovers after breaking three ribs in a bike riding accident near his North Carolina home.
"Bobby's pretty banged up right now," said Tad Geschickter, another of the team's owners. "He's got another doctor's appointment Monday. He may be a game-time decision (next weekend at Richmond), but Bobby Labonte's burning passion is to drive the car and see this season through the end."
Allmendinger knows he'll race the No. 47 Toyota at Kansas and the season finale at Homestead, and any other experience he gets will provide a head start on 2014.
"I don't want to get more races to push him out," Allmendinger said. "He's a Hall of Famer. I'm here to do whatever Tad wants, whether it's next week or here and there. Of course, I want to drive. But I don't want to do that at the expense of somebody else."
Allmendinger already feels like he's hit the jackpot.
"It's just a great feeling to be back," he said. "In a way, I feel like I'm playing with house money. I didn't feel like I would ever be back here."
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- 84 percent of the world population has faith; a third are Christian
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!