NASCAR suspend Todd Parrott for violating substance abuse policy
Todd Parrott, the crew chief for Aric Almirola at Richard Petty Motorsports, is the latest NASCAR crewmen indefinitely suspended for violating NASCAR's no-tolerance Substance Abuse Policy. The second-generation crew chief has 31 Sprint Cup wins (third-most among active chiefs) and was the crew chief when Dale Jarrett won the 1999 Sprint Cup championship with Robert Yates Racing. Among his 31 career victories are the 1996 and 2000 Daytona 500s with Jarrett.
He was found in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 Rule Book. He's by far the best-known and most successful crewmen suspended for abusing the substance abuse policy.
In saying it “fully supports the indefinite suspension,” RPM management stopped short of announcing that Parrott had been fired. In every other case of substance abuse in recent months, the team involved – most notably, Hendrick Motorsports – immediately said the crewmen in question was no longer with the team.
Sammy Johns, the VP of Operations and Competition at RPM, will be Almirola's crew chief duties this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. He's been named the team's “permanent interim” crew chief until further notice. Parrott moved to Almirola's No. 43 Ford Fusion team in September of 2012, moving over from Marco Ambrose's No. 9 Ford at RPM.
“We have an expectation of all RPM employees to conduct themselves at the highest level of professionalism and within the competitive confines as set forth by NASCAR,” Johns said in a statement from the team. “We are very disappointed that one of our employees did not meet our expectations, and we completely support NASCAR, their policies and final decisions when it comes to the substance abuse policy.”
Parrott's father is retired Richard Petty crew chief Buddy Parrott and his younger brother is former Carl Edwards crew chief Brad Parrott. Todd Parrott has been in NASCAR most of his adult life, working with Jarrett, Ernie Irvan, David Gilliland and Elliott Sadler at Robert Yates Racing, with Ambrose, Almirola and Bobby Labonte at RPM and with Matt Kenseth at Roush Fenway Racing.