Allmendinger reveals drug he took
AJ Allmendinger plans to race again, but he doesn’t know where. And he doesn’t know when.
|Allmendinger said he took Adderall, a prescription drug that contains amphetamines|
But Allmendinger believes he’s on the road back. Part of that path includes stepping into the spotlight and on Tuesday talking about why NASCAR suspended him July 7 for failing a June 29 drug test. Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely after a test on his B sample confirmed the positive test and agreed to enter NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program. He must complete the program in order to be reinstated.
Allmendinger said Tuesday that he tested positive for amphetamines that came from an accidental ingestion of the prescription drug Adderall.
He said the drug was given to him by a friend, who told him it was an energy supplement.
Adderall is a brand name for a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Adderall is primarily prescribed to patients with attention deficit disorder and is potentially habit forming.
Taking that pill resulted in Allmendinger being suspended by NASCAR and eventually being fired by Penske Racing. He is a driver without a ride and no clue where his next opportunity will come from.
“Will my career be the same?” Allmendinger said. “I don’t know. Will I be able to fight back and have a chance? I feel like 100 percent I’ll be racing something.
“I’m not sure what that will be. That chapter is still to be written when it comes to how my career goes. But as a person, I’m going to be a lot better.”
Now 30, Allmendinger said he did not do a good job handling the stress of getting the opportunity of a lifetime when Penske Racing hired him this year to replace Kurt Busch. He said he is not angry or bitter over his ordeal.
“I’m at peace,” Allmendinger said. “This was the last step of this process, finally coming out and talking about it. … This was just the last piece of this chapter. I’ve already started the next chapter in my life.
“I’m honestly telling the truth 100 percent when I say I will be so much better of a person after this than I would have been if this didn’t happen to me. Because of that, it makes me feel a lot better inside to know that I will come out so much stronger, so much smarter, a lot better person.”
Allmendinger’s saga started when he was out with a friend in Louisville, Ky., on July 27, two days before NASCAR selected him for a random drug test at Kentucky Speedway. He said he took the pill because he had been feeling tired lately.
At the time, Allmendinger said he didn’t even think about the pill he was given two days earlier.
“It wasn’t even crazy or anything like that,” Allmendinger said. “It was a pretty low-key night. Throughout the season, just with the struggles and the pressure I was putting on myself and not going the way I had hoped, I hadn’t been sleeping very well throughout the year.
“I was honestly really tired and had no energy. A friend of his that was out said, ‘I have an energy supplement that I take to work out.’ I thought nothing of it because I’ve taken energy supplements before to work out and been tested on them. … I honestly thought nothing of it and that was probably my big mistake and just the poor judgment that I made.”
When NASCAR officials told him he had tested positive for amphetamines, it was a shock, Allmendinger said. He said he had taken Nyquil the night before and also had been taking sleeping aids as well as supplements to work out.
“I sat there and (having) never knowingly taken a drug in my life, I said, ‘Test me every day if you want, this has got to be a mistake, something has had to have happened,’” he said.
It wasn’t until NASCAR tested Allmendinger’s B sample that he was given detailed results of his drug test and was able to determine that it was Adderall, or a form of it. He then was able to trace the source back to the pill he was given by his friend.
NASCAR would not confirm that Allmendinger tested positive for Adderall. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said that the results don’t specify the brand of drug.
“Once they let me know exactly what they thought it was and I started retracing my steps is when I found out it was prescription Adderall instead of an energy supplement,” Allmendinger said. “I took it unknowingly and I would love to go back and re-do that whole thing again but I can’t.
“It’s a bad judgment that I made and something I completely regret and (am) paying the price for. But I’ve just got to learn from it and move on.” Sporting News