NASCAR in full press to keep Allmendinger from going to IndyCar As soon as Roger Penske paraded AJ Allmendinger around the IndyCar paddock NASCAR almost immediately cleared him to drive again for fear he would go back to their #1 enemy - open wheel racing. Roger Penske played them like a fiddle and it worked. Now the full court press is on with the media to make that happen. It started this weekend in New Hampshire - see what the drivers have to say to the media.
“I mean it’s still a tough road,” Brad Keselowski said. “It’s great to see Roger (Penske) support him like he has been and really the whole NASCAR community has reached out in their own ways. I’m happy that the Road to Recovery process has worked for him and I think we’ll all be watching to see what happens.”
Allmendinger was suspended in June after he tested positive for amphetamines. He completed NASCAR’s drug treatment program and was reinstated last Monday.
Most said they’d welcome Allmendinger back into the sport, and all said they were happy with Allmendinger’s determination, as well as the sport’s treatment process.
“I think that a quick reinstatement like that speaks volumes of what his commitment is,” Jeff Gordon said. “I think that NASCAR wouldn’t do that unless they saw a lot out of A.J. and what his intentions and commitment are moving forward. I would think that would build confidence in the garage area as well.”
Tony Stewart, who’s a co-owner at Stewart-Haas Racing, said Allmendinger would be a good driver for a team that needs someone who will push hard. At the same time, Stewart didn’t talk about the challenges of finding sponsorship.
“I think obviously in NASCAR has reinstated him for a reason,” he said. “I don’t see any problem. … I think somebody that is looking for somebody that is hungry and can get the job done; I think he is a good pick right now.”
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