Among the substances NASCAR crews must be tested for are:
- Seven different amphetamines, including methamphetamine and PMA, a synthetic psychostimulant and hallucinogen.
- Three drugs classified under ephedrine.
- 13 different narcotics, including codeine and morphine.
- Ten different benzodiazepines and barbituates.
- Marijuana, cocaine, zolpidem, nitrites, chromates and drugs that can increase specific gravity.
(the crews include - pit crew members, including "over-the-wall" crew members, the crew chief, car chief, team members responsible for tires, fuel and pit crew operation, spotters and race-day support personnel that includes engineers, engine tuners, shock specialists, chassis specialists and tire specialists). No such list exists for the drivers
NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy
Competitors are asked to take a drug test if there is "reasonable suspicion."
Anyone who obtains any kind of NASCAR license must sign an "authorization for testing and release" waiver each season.
NASCAR can ask for samples of urine, blood, saliva, hair or breath tests if "reasonable suspicion" of drug use has been established.
A number of NASCAR officials are trained to take and seal samples for testing, and all are versed in detecting signs of impairment.
NASCAR encourages "whistle blowing" among its competitors to help police its substance abuse policy.
NASCAR reserves the right to suspend a competitor based on a conviction for driving a passenger vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a drug-related conviction.
Competitors and officials are prohibited from consuming alcohol prior to or during a race.
If a person fails a drug test and wants to return to racing, he or she must submit to a series of spot testing. The person being tested must pay for the examinations.
If an individual is reinstated, NASCAR reserves the right to randomly test that individual.
NASCAR does not recommend specific rehabilitation programs but strongly encourages self-help and treatment for those afflicted with a drug problem or alcohol abuse.
Spencer Gallager, 5/2/2018, XFINITY Series [indefinitely suspended]
A.J. Allmendinger, 7/7/2012, Sprint Cup Series [indefinitely suspended, reinstated 9/18/2012]
Jack Smith, 9/7/2010, Camping World Truck Series
Jeremy Mayfield, 5/9/2009, Sprint Cup Series [dropped various lawsuits against NASCAR, has other legal and bankruptcy issues]
Aaron Fike, 7/11/2007, Truck Series [reinstated 8/21/2012]
Tyler Walker, 5/18/2007, supposedly has been reinstated, Truck Series
Kevin Grubb, twice 3/2004 and 9/11/2006 when refused to take a test (died 5/6/2009), Nationwide Series
Shane Hmiel, three times, last for life, 9/18/2003, 5/2005 and 2/2006, Nationwide Series [paralyzed in Sprint Car wreck, 2010]
Brian Rose, 3/2003, Truck Series [reinstated and attempted the Truck Series race at Nashville, 4/2/2010]
Sammy Potashnick, 2/2002, Nationwide/Truck Series, no idea what happened with this driver
NASCAR's substance-abuse policy: What's banned? by Bob Pockrass
NOTE most of the Jeremy Mayfield news is posted on the Jeremy Mayfield News page
Denny Hamlin says he was joking when he said 70 percent of drivers use Adderall Denny Hamlin said he was joking when he said on a podcast Friday that 70 percent of drivers use Adderall or similar medicines to help them focus. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was on the Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast when the topic moved to drug testing.[More](2-16-2018)
NASCAR suspends one crew member, reinstates another: Tuesday afternoon, NASCAR announced the following penalty and reinstatement:
Ryan D. Hess was given an indefinite suspension for violation of Sections 12.1; 19 (Substance Abuse Policy)
Michael Casto successfully completed NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program. His NASCAR suspension has been lifted.(NASCAR)
This is the third violation for Hess, who most recently was a gas man for BK Racing. Casto was working for Stewart-Haas Racing at the time of his suspension.(12-7-2016)
Crew member reinstated: NASCAR has reinstated crew member Chris Jamieson upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Road to Recovery Program.(NASCAR) Jameson was suspended following the Las Vegas race.(5-6-2016)
Crew member reinstated: NASCAR has reinstated Frank W. Earnhardt, a former crew member in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program. On May 14, 2013, Earnhardt was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(2-23-2016)
Crew member reinstated: NASCAR has reinstated Ernest F. Pierce, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Road to Recovery Program. On June 17, 2015, Pierce was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(8-11-2015)
Crew member suspended for substance abuse violation: Kelly Johnson, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On Nov. 17, 2014, Johnson was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2014 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(11-18-2014)
Crew member suspended: William Coralline, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On Sept. 24, Coralline was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2014 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(9-30-2014)
NASCAR reinstates crew members: NASCAR has reinstated Ryan Hess, a former crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and Curtis Martin Jr., a former crew member in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, upon their successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. On June 18, 2013, Hess was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the NASCAR Rule Book. On Nov. 19, 2013, Martin also was found to have violated Sections 12-1 and 19.(NASCAR)(3-4-2014)
NASCAR Reinstates Former Crew Member Todd Parrott: NASCAR has reinstated former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew member Todd Parrott upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Parrott had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on Oct. 17, 2013 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy (NASCAR). Before his suspension, Parrott was the crew chief for the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and driver Aric Almirola.(1-7-2014)
Todd Parrot suspended by NASCAR UPDATES - Released by RPM, Comments: Todd Parrott, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (#43 team crew chief), has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On Oct. 17, Parrott was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(10-17-2013)
UPDATE: Upon notification today that employee Todd Parrott had violated NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy, Richard Petty Motorsports fully supports his indefinite suspension from NASCAR. Sammy Johns, Vice President of Operations and Competition, will handle crew chief duties on the #43 Ford this weekend at Talladega. He will also handle these duties on an interim basis until further notice. "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," said Johns. "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."(RPM)(10-17-2013)
UPDATE 2: Todd Parrott was released from Richard Petty Motorsports on Monday for violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy. The 19-year veteran crew chief won the 1999 Sprint Cup championship with Dale Jarrett and most recently oversaw the #43 Ford team and driver Aric Almirola. Parrott has been with RPM since 2010. He has 31 Sprint Cup wins. Parrott has already submitted his application for NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. Greg Ebert will take over as the interim crew chief for Aric Almirola's team.(Fox Sports)(10-22-2013)
UPDATE 3: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced Greg Ebert will serve as the interim crew chief for the #43 Ford and driver Aric Almirola starting this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Ebert will fulfill this role on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. Ebert has served in the role of car chief of the #43 Ford for the past two seasons and has been a car chief with RPM since its inception. Before joining RPM, Ebert spent nine years at Roush Fenway Racing serving the last five of those seasons as the car chief for Matt Kenseth. Ebert replaces Todd Parrott who is no longer with the organization.(RPM)(10-22-2013)
UPDATE 4: "(The dismissal) was just automatic," Richard Petty told reporters Tuesday afternoon during an appearance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "When he done what he did, he did his own thing. All we've done is said, 'This is the way it's got to be.'" Petty said he was "really shocked" when Parrott failed a drug test and said he never saw the crew chief acting suspiciously. But because drivers and crew members put their lives on the line every weekend, Petty said, the team took a zero-tolerance approach to Parrott's offense. "One hundred percent ain't good enough, so if anyone breaks the rule, there ain't no room in our organization for that," Petty said.
AND Crew chief Todd Parrott said Tuesday night on Motor Racing Network's "NASCAR Live" that he's sorry for his actions, which caused him to violate NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy and lose his job at Richard Petty Motorsports. "I was in a dark moment and it happened," Parrott told host Eli Gold. Parrott declined to reveal what banned substance he took. NASCAR indefinitely suspended him Thursday. Gold asked Parrott during "NASCAR Live'' if it was a long-time issue or something that happened that caused Parrott to be suspended. "It's just something that happened and my number came up," Parrott said. "Not a whole lot I can say. I feel bad about it, and I'm sorry for it and I'm ready to move on." Parrott said he's scheduled to meet with a counselor Wednesday to begin NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. "I have the support of my family and a lot of friends in the garage to go down this path,'' he said. "I'm sorry it came down to this, but it's a blessing, too ,that NASCAR has a path that helps you ... to be able to get back to work."(Motor Racing Network)(10-23-2013)
Crew Member Reinstated by NASCAR: NASCAR has reinstated former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew member Jackson L. Dodson II upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Dodson had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on May 9, 2013 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(7-16-2013)
NASCAR Reinstates Former Crew Member Jerome Frey: NASCAR has reinstated former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew member Jerome Frey upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Frey had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on August 10, 2011 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(2-14-2013)
NASCAR Reinstates Driver AJ Allmendinger: NASCAR has reinstated driver AJ Allmendinger upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Allmendinger had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on July 24 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy (NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)
AND Allmendinger's statement: "I want to thank everyone for their support through this entire process," said Allmendinger. "I appreciate that NASCAR created the the Road to Recovery program, and am grateful for the opportunity to return to competition. The Road to Recovery program was really helpful to me in getting my priorities reset away from the race track. And, honestly, that helped find my love of racing again and why I began racing in the first place. I'm looking forward to taking this experience and be better for it moving forward."(ajallmendinger.com), see past news about Allmendingers suspension on the #22 Team News and Links page and NASCAR Drug Policy news page.(9-18-2012)
NASCAR Reinstates Driver Aaron Fike: NASCAR has reinstated driver Aaron Fike upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Fike had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR July 11, 2007 for actions detrimental to stock car racing.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(8-21-2012)
Source disputes Allmendinger's defense: It is highly unlikely that AJ Allmendinger's positive test for amphetamines came from a single pill taken one time as the suspended Sprint Cup driver recently stated, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com. It also is highly unlikely that Allmendinger will complete NASCAR's Road to Recovery program necessary for reinstatement by the end of August as the driver stated, according to the source. "That's not going to happen," the source said. The driver said last week that the positive test resulted from prescription Adderal that he was given by the friend of a friend two days before he was randomly tested at Kentucky Speedway on June 29. Adderall is administered medically to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the source told ESPN.com that Allmendinger's one-pill defense is not consistent with the test results despite the fact Adderall can remain in a person's system up to 72 hours. And while Adderall contains compounds of amphetamines, experts in the field say there are other prescription drugs and illegal drugs that contain the same compounds. NASCAR denied ESPN.com's request to interview Dr. David Black, who heads up the Nashville-based Aegis Sciences Corp. that runs the drug testing program for the sport, regarding Allmendinger's claims. Allmendinger, according to the source, also did not reveal to the medical review officer during standard questioning given before the random test that he took anything given to him by another person that possibly could register a positive test. See more at ESPN.com.(8-15-2012)
Allmendinger tested positive for Adderall: AJ Allmendinger tested positive for prescription Adderall, the suspended NASCAR driver told ESPN in an exclusive sit down interview Tuesday. Adderall is typically prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Allmendinger said. He does not have ADHD and therefore had no prescription. He explained that he had been out in Louisville, KY, the Wednesday before the Quaker State 400 race at Kentucky Speedway, and was tired. A friend, Allmendinger said, handed him a pill and stated it was a workout supplement that would give him energy. Allmendinger ingested the pill. Two days later he was randomly-tested at the racetrack, a test he would ultimately fail. He said neither NASCAR nor its drug testing team from Nashville-based Aegis Labs would inform him of the specific substance in question until after the B Sample was tested July 24, only that he had tested positive for amphetamine. It was not until he was informed it was Adderall that he traced it back to that night in Kentucky. He said he does not abuse Adderall, rather that he took it just once. Allmendinger is currently going through NASCAR's Road to Recovery program, which he said he hopes to complete by the end of August. He said his case is being treated more as a stress-coping methodology than a drug rehabilitation (ESPN)(8-7-2012)
NASCAR will keep drug test details private: NASCAR is sticking to its policy of not disclosing the specific substances that cause positive drug tests.
Series President Mike Helton said Thursday that even though the rulebook allows series officials to disclose which drugs a competitor has tested positive for, he does not intend to stray from the long-standing policy of keeping those results private. Helton cited federal privacy laws as one reason the series has not publicly said what caused A.J. Allmendinger's positive test. NASCAR has not provided details of the test and has said only that the two urine samples tested positive for the same substance. Allmendinger was suspended hours before the July 7 race and is now serving an indefinite suspension after his backup "B" sample also tested positive this week. Allmendinger's business manager, Tara Ragan, said the driver tested positive for an amphetamine. Allmendinger has said he did not knowingly ingest a banned substance, and has hired an independent laboratory in an attempt to figure out how he tested positive. But Allmendinger is not fighting the suspension and has instead said he will participate in NASCAR's anti-drug program, which includes an evaluation by a substance abuse professional, along with potential counseling and rehabilitation, so he can be reinstated.(in part from the Associated Press)(7-27-2012)
Amphetamines caused Allmendinger's positive test: Suspended Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger tested positive for amphetamines, his business manager confirmed Wednesday. Tara Ragan, the vice president of Walldinger Racing Inc., said Allmendinger was told when initially suspended by NASCAR on July 7 that amphetamines were found in his drug testing sample taken a week earlier. She said the term was so broad that she opted to refer to it as a stimulant. Brand names of medications that contain or metabolize into amphetamines include Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Desoxyn, Didrex, ProCentra and Vyvanse.
Amphetamines also are used recreationally as a performance enhancer, often referred to on the street as "speed." When overused, they can be psychologically and physically addictive. "With amphetamines, there are a whole slew of things it can be," Ragan told ESPN.com. "When we say we don't know what it is, what we were trying to ascertain is what is it in that grouping? In our head, we don't know. In fact, when the (medical review officer) first called and said he tested positive for amphetamines, the first thing we said was, 'What does that mean?'" Ragan said the hope is Dr. David Black, who runs Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., which tested Allmendinger's "A" and "B" urine samples, will help clarify that Thursday when Allmendinger talks to him to be assigned a health care facility for assessment. Meanwhile, Ragan said there are plans to have Allmendinger tested again by an independent laboratory to see whether amphetamines still show up in his system. "We weren't being evasive," Ragan said. "In my head, no, we didn't know what the drug was. Amphetamines was too general for us when trying to figure out what it is."(more at ESPN.com)(7-25-2012)
Allmendinger Indefinitely Suspended From NASCAR Competition: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On July 24, Allmendinger was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR's substance abuse policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. As outlined in the rule book, NASCAR next will provide Allmendinger a letter outlining a process for reinstatement. By agreeing to the letter, he will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery Program.(NASCAR)
Penske Racing Statement: "In accordance with NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy, Penske Racing was notified today of AJ Allmendinger's positive B sample test. We respect NASCAR's policy and the process they have taken with this matter. Penske Racing is very disappointed with the result of the B sample test and will evaluate its course of action as it pertains to AJ over the coming week. Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the #22 Dodge Charger this weekend at Indianapolis and next weekend at Pocono."(Penske Racing)
Walldinger Racing Statement: Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville has delivered the results of the "B" sample test for Penske Racing driver AJ Allmendinger, which confirmed the results of the "A" test. Statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc. "This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this. To that end, we have secured the services of an independent lab to conduct thorough testing on every product within AJ's home and motor coach to find what might collaborate with his test, which created results that were within nanograms of accepted standards. We are working closely with NASCAR and Penske Racing to identify the next action steps in this process. We continue to be extremely grateful by the breadth and scope of support for AJ from his fans and partners. We would like to again thank NASCAR, Penske Racing and all our sponsor partners for the open communication, and for helping us at every step in this process. We expect to have further updates in the upcoming days."(Walldinger Racing)
see earlier and all updates / reports / statements about Allmendinger's / Penske Racing's situation on the #22 team news page.(7-24-2012)
Allmendinger bringing experts to test UPDATE denied: People familiar with AJ Allmendinger's suspension say the NASCAR driver has elected to bring his own experts to witness the testing of his "B" urine sample. Allmendinger was suspended by NASCAR on Saturday for failing a random drug test. He has said he tested positive for a stimulant he did not reveal, and has insisted he never "knowingly" took a banned substance. Under NASCAR's drug policy, an individual can bring in experts for the second test. Two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press that Allmendinger has chosen to bring a toxicologist and an attorney. They spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the process is confidential. Because Allmendinger is bringing his own people, the test of the sample will not occur until next week.(Associated Press)(7-12-2012)
UPDATE: Tara Ragan, business manager for suspended driver AJ Allmendinger, debunked published reports that Walldinger Racing plans to bring an attorney to the testing of Allmendinger's "B" sample, the next step in the procedure under NASCAR's substance abuse program. As set forth in NASCAR's rule book, Allmendinger may attend the "B" sample test at Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., or send a qualified toxicologist to represent him. Allmendinger was suspended Saturday before that night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona because the "A" sample from a urine test collected June 29 at Kentucky Speedway tested positive for what Ragan termed in a subsequent statement "a stimulant" in an amount that was "slightly above the threshold." Ragan's statement also included the assertion that Allmendinger had never knowingly taken a prohibited substance and indicated he was requesting a test of the "B" sample, which was collected at the same time as the "A" sample. Ragan said she took the passage in Section 19-11 B (2) of the rule book literally: "The NASCAR member may be present (either personally or represented by a qualified toxicologist not associated with Aegis) during the second test at his/her expense . . ." Ragan said Allmendinger has not been informed of a "B" sample test date, next week or otherwise.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-14-2012)
Statement regarding Allmendinger's sample: a statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc., Charlotte, NC: "In an effort to help our colleagues in the media report on this in a timely and accurate manner, we wanted to provide some additional details regarding AJ's sample "A" test results. AJ tested positive for a stimulant. He has no idea why the first test was positive, and he has never knowingly taken any prohibited substance. AJ is collecting his medicines and supplements for testing to determine whether an over the counter product caused his positive test. AJ and all of us at Walldinger Racing respect NASCAR's testing program, and he has requested that his "B" sample be tested as part of the process of getting to the bottom of this. We will have the opportunity to review all of the scientific data surrounding the test following the "B" sample test, but our understanding is that AJ's test was slightly above the threshold. As of this morning, we have not been given notice of when the testing of the "B" sample will take place. Thanks again for all of the support of our fans, team, and sponsors as we continue working through the process."(Walldinger Racing)(7-11-2012)
NASCAR not revealing drug that drivers are suspended for: NASCAR does not reveal the drug that a suspended driver tested positive for due to privacy concerns, NASCAR officials say. NASCAR chairman Brian France outlined NASCAR's stance in 2009 when it suspended Jeremy Mayfield after he tested positive for methamphetamines. A NASCAR spokesman said Tuesday that NASCAR still stands by that policy. Mayfield's positive test for methamphetamine was revealed when he filed a lawsuit against NASCAR over his suspension. He recently dropped his lawsuit after losing an appeal. On Saturday, NASCAR suspended driver #22-AJ Allmendinger after he tested positive for a banned substance during a random drug test at Kentucky Speedway on June 29. NASCAR has not disclosed the drug Allmendinger tested positive for. Though NASCAR's substance-abuse policy does not prohibit it from disclosing the source of a positive test, France said in 2009 that NASCAR doesn't reveal the substance due to privacy concerns.(Sporting News)(7-11-2012)
Allmendinger requests testing of "B" sample STATEMENT: Suspended Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger on Monday took the first step in trying to get his failed drug test reversed. The Penske Racing driver, suspended prior to Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway for failing a drug test taken the previous weekend at Kentucky, issued a written request to have his "B" sample tested in hopes that it will give a different result than the initial "A" sample that came back positive for a banned substance. Allmendinger had 72 hours from Saturday to ask for his "B" sample to be tested. It will take approximately five days for NASCAR to get results from the second test from the lab, Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., that conducted the original test.
If the "B" sample comes back positive, Allmendinger faces indefinite suspension until he completes NASCAR's recovery program, which includes counseling, therapy and more testing. Team officials and NASCAR have declined to comment on the substance found in Allmendinger's initial "A" sample test. They are waiting on results of the "B" sample to confirm results.(ESPN.com)
Statement from AJ Allmendinger, Charlotte, NC (July 10, 2012): "I have informed NASCAR that I have requested that the "B" sample be tested, following the steps according to NASCAR's 2012 rule book regarding this situation. I fully respect NASCAR's drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the #22 Penske Racing Dodge. I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug."(Walldinger Racing)
AND Multiple sources say a second drug screening test has been conducted on the urine sample collected last week from NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger. Penske Racing owner Roger Penske told Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio's The Morning Drive today that he believes Allmendinger exercised his right to request a test of the second, or "B" sample by Aegis Laboratories, NASCAR's substance abuse testing agent. Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity confirm that the test was conducted late yesterday at Aegis' Atlanta headquarters, with Allmendinger, his attorney and a toxicologist of his choosing in attendance to monitor the proceedings.
Results are expected to be available within the next 24-48 hours, and Penske said he and his team are "standing behind (Allmendinger) until we understand the results. I can't say today what that is going to be." He said he has not spoken with his driver since he was temporarily suspension broke Saturday, but will await results of the second urinalysis before making any decisions about his driver's future. "We have a one-year contract with him (and) we'll have to assess the situation," he said. "We'll look at the details... and make our move accordingly. At this point, it would be way premature for me to speculate what we might do."(Godfather Motorsports), see earlier updatees about Allmendinger's situation on the #22 team news page.(7-10-2012)
Allmendinger suspended for failing drug test: UPDATES: NASCAR announced 90 minutes before the race that #22-A.J. Allmendinger has failed a random drug test and has been "temporarily" suspended. He was randomly selected and tested following the Kentucky race and his "A" sample tested positive. He has the right to request that NASCAR test his "B" sample. Should he refuse to have the "B" sample tested, or if that test is positive, the suspension will become indefinite. Sam Hornish will replace him in the #22 at Daytona.(7-7-2012)
Official Announcement: Driver AJ Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from NASCAR competition based upon notification of a positive "A" test NASCAR received from the Medical Review Officer as stated in Section 19-11B (6,7) of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy. Pursuant to the rule book, Allmendinger has the opportunity to request within the next 72 hours that his "B" sample be tested. NASCAR will follow its policies and procedures set forth in the rule book in dealing with this matter.(NASCAR)(7-7-2012)
Penske Statement: "NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that AJ Allmendinger was administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested positive. NASCAR has a strict drug testing program that Penske Racing fully supports. Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps. Sam Hornish will drive the No. 22 car in (Saturday's) Coke Zero 400."(Penske Racing)(7-7-2012)
UPDATE: Roger Penske called A.J. Allmendinger's failed drug test "a disappointment" but said the NASCAR team will wait for a second test to be performed this week. Penske said Sunday before the Honda Indy Toronto race that Allmendinger's "B" sample would be tested Monday or Tuesday. "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," Penske said. "I don't think it's fair to him. I think as you look at sports, things happen like this," he said. "It's unfortunate, but I don't really want to make a statement pro or con right now. I'm counting on another test being proper for him within 72 hours, and at that point we'll make a decision." Penske said his team, Penske Racing, was informed that Allmendinger's "A" sample had tested positive about 4 p.m. Saturday, less than four hours before the Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Allmendinger has 72 hours from early Saturday afternoon for the "B" sample to be tested, meaning he has to make the request by early Tuesday afternoon. After the request is made, it could take up to five days to confirm the results of the "A" sample.(USA Today/Indianapolis Star)(7-8-2012)
UPDATE 2: A.J. Allmendinger was silent Sunday, a day after NASCAR suspended him for failing a random drug test. Penske Racing, which gave Allmendinger the biggest break of his career this season, is withholding judgment until NASCAR's system has been completed. Where that leaves the 30-year-old driver remains to be seen. There is no second test coming for Allmendinger, who was randomly summoned June 29 in Kentucky to provide a urine sample to NASCAR. Per NASCAR guidelines, the specimen was split in two for an "A'' and a "B'' samples. NASCAR announced 90 minutes before Saturday night's race at Daytona that Allmendinger's "A'' sample had failed the test. NASCAR didn't reveal what Allmendinger tested positive for, and Allmendinger hasn't commented publicly since the announcement. According to Allmendinger's Twitter feed, he was making appearances on behalf of sponsor Shell/Pennzoil less than two hours before the suspension was announced at 6 p.m. But NASCAR clarified the timelines Sunday, and said its medical review officer first alerted Allmendinger of his positive test approximately six hours earlier. NASCAR was informed by the MRO about 2:30 p.m., and met with Allmendinger and a senior Penske official shortly after. The team owner indicated Sunday that Hornish is available to drive Allmendinger's car, but that the organization had yet to think beyond Daytona. "We haven't made any (decisions). He was obviously our first choice for yesterday," Penske said. "I was out of the country and came in last night and obviously got word on the way over what had happened. The big thing was to get Sam in the car so we could get in the race, which obviously was tight.(Associated Press)
AND: If A.J. Allmendinger's suspension by NASCAR becomes indefinite, Sam Hornish Jr. wants to continue his role as replacement. "If that's the case, then I want to be back in the Cup Series," Hornish told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview Sunday. "I'm fully on board with it. I can't think of any reason I wouldn't want to drive that car. I'll do whatever it takes to get back there." Of getting promoted on a longer-term basis in the #22 Dodge, Hornish said, "Obviously, we have a contractual commitment to the Nationwide Series, and some of their races aren't at the same site as Cup races, so that will be an issue." Hornish declined to comment about Allmendinger's situation, except to say he hadn't spoken to the driver and was shocked by Saturday's announcement.(USA Today)
For more details on NASCAR's drug testing policy, see Jayski's Drug Policy page and in-depth articles at USA Today and Sporting News.(7-9-2012)
NASCAR Reinstates Crew Member Charles Day: NASCAR has reinstated crew member Charles Day upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program. Day had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on Nov. 3, 2011 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(2-19-2012)
Jack Smith suspended by NASCAR: Jack C. Smith, a driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.
He was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR)(11-22-2011)
#66 team crew member suspended: Charles Day, a crew member for the #66 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. Day was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR)(11-3-2011)
UPDATE: "Regarding the suspension of crew member Charles Day, HP RACING has zero tolerance with crew members failing on NASCAR drug tests. As a result, the crew member is no longer with the team. We fully support NASCAR's substance abuse program."(HP Racing)(11-4-2011)
Changes to NASCAR substance-abuse policy: NASCAR has made several changes to its substance-abuse policy, including a longer explanation of the dangers of mixing medications and specifying who is subject to tests for performance-enhancing drugs. As far as the actual drugs listed, the only adjustment is the addition of synthetic marijuana, such as K2 or Spice. While NASCAR had in its previous policy that the mixture of medications could cause a violation, it is much more defined with the new policy. In other changes for 2011:
• NASCAR lists who will be tested for performance-enhancing drugs - drivers, tire changers, tire carriers, jack men and gas men.
• NASCAR includes a section reminding teams that new crewmen must pass a drug test before entering the garage.
• NASCAR added a section that defines a refused test. The list includes someone who doesn't cooperate with the test or someone who tries to mask the results.
• NASCAR also has named its reinstating process as the "Road to Recovery" program.(SceneDaily)(2-13-2011)
NASCAR Reinstates Paul Chodora: NASCAR has reinstated crew member Paul Chodora upon his successful completion of NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program following his Feb. 19, 2009 suspension for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(1-10-2011)
Nationwide crew member suspended: Kenneth Luna, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On Sept. 21, Luna was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR), note: Luna was also suspended by NASCAR in February for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy.(10-6-2010)
Truck Series driver suspended: Jack Smith, driver of the #63 truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. The violation occurred July 23.(NASCAR PR)(9-7-2010)
UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway is reporting that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Jack Smith has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR after being arrested and charged with three felony counts of fraudulently attempting to obtain a controlled substance in Wentzville, Missouri last month. NASCAR was reportedly informed by Wentzville Police on July 23 that Smith had been arrested the previous day after allegedly attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraudulent means on July 11, July 14 and July 22, 2010. He was suspended for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book, and is scheduled to appear at a Bond Appearance Hearing on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 before Judge William T. Lohmar in St. Charles (WI) Circuit Court.(Sirius-Speedway PR)(9-7-2010)
Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation Of Substance Abuse Policy: Chris Moore, a crew member for the #43 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On June 22, Moore was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)(6-29-2010)
Analyst LaJoie suspended indefinitely: NASCAR and ESPN have each suspended racing analyst and former driver Randy LaJoie indefinitely for violating its substance-abuse policy. In an interview Tuesday on SIRIUS XM Radio, LaJoie said he smoked marijuana once in May. LaJoie was tested by NASCAR because he wanted to become a spotter for one of Joe Gibbs Racing's Nationwide Series teams. He has not competed at any of NASCAR's top three national levels since 2006 and has been an analyst for NASCAR the past several years. "I take full responsibility for my actions and respect NASCAR's decision," LaJoie said in a statement. "I wish to apologize to my wife and family first, to NASCAR, to my fans and to the various media companies which I work including ESPN, Sirius Radio, Speed Channel and Performance Racing Network. I have this day sought to enroll in a substance abuse program. My use of marijuana was an isolated incident following the Coca Cola 600. "I plan to follow the recommendations of the substance abuse counselor and suggestions of NASCAR and hope that someday I can prove to NASCAR and all the people with whom I associate that I have taken such steps to see that instances such as this do not reoccur." LaJoie raced in 44 races over 12 years in NASCAR's elite Cup Series. His success was in the Nationwide Series, where he won 15 races over 19 seasons and two Nationwide Series championships.(ESPN). See more on my Nationwise Series page.(6-22-2010)
Shane Hmiel back racing; Rose back in NASCAR Former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel won a USAC Midget race last week at Hickory Motor Speedway. He returned to race again the next night, turning the fastest speed in qualifying and hoping for another $3,000 winner's payday, only to see rain wash away those hopes.
A handful of people milled around the pits and maybe a few hundred people sat in the grandstands as Hmiel and his one crewman worked on his car. It was a long way from pit road at Bristol Motor Speedway, the site of his last Sprint Cup race five years ago. It was a long way from victory lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he won a NASCAR Truck Series race in 2004. If all had gone right in Shane Hmiel's world, he'd be making more than $3,000 a race just for waking up in the morning. But things didn't go right for Hmiel, who is bipolar and has a drug habit. "I was 25 years old," Hmiel said about where he was five years ago as a NASCAR Busch Series regular driving for Braun Racing. "I could have been one of the next guys, know what I mean? I pissed it all away twice, and nobody needs to do that. Nobody needs to put their family through it. It doesn't bother me because I understand it. I feel like I'm just here. I'm living, going day to day. I'm just excited to race like I get to now."
Hmiel has been back racing for three years, but not in NASCAR, where he's been banned from competing and banished from the garage for repeatedly violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. His first indefinite suspension lasted for eight races after he tested positive for marijuana in 2003. After being reinstated, he was indefinitely suspended again for testing positive for cocaine and marijuana in May 2005. He failed another test in early 2006 while on suspension and has been banned for life. Hmiel, son of longtime NASCAR mechanic and current Earnhardt Ganassi Racing competition director Steve Hmiel, isn't trying to get back into NASCAR. He's trying to become an accomplished racer again, a champion. It's better than being on drugs, or possibly having his life end while on drugs. Hmiel said that when he first returned to the track, he noticed people staring at him. They thought he had just been hiding out for a few years and wasn't truly drug free, he said. Today, he says he has a stack of drug test results that prove he is clean and believes that about 90 percent of his competitors believe him. He talks to people, he says, who want to talk about their own battles with addiction.
Hmiel says he doesn't have the urge to use drugs anymore but says he won't conquer his addiction unless he never uses again. Hmiel also says he's a much better race-car driver now. He's wrecked fewer cars in three years, he says, than he did in three months of stock-car racing.(full story and quotes at SceneDaily and also at SceneDaily: Shane Hmiel says NASCAR's new substance abuse policy would have helped him get treatment sooner.
AND Brian Rose, a once-promising young race car driver, will be behind the wheel of a NASCAR racing machine [failed to qualify for the Nashville Truck Series race] for the first time since he was indefinitely suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy in the spring of 2003. He's back with Rick Ware Racing, the same team he was driving for when he was banned by the league. But he is not the same person we knew then. When we last saw him, Rose was a broken, drug-addicted 23-year-old. Sponsorship woes had limited his opportunities to race. In 2001-02, he competed in 36 NASCAR Truck races, including stints with top-shelf team owners Bobby Hamilton and Billy Ballew, earning five top-10 finishes. In 2003 he rejoined Ware, with whom he'd started his career, and raced in two of the season's first four events, finishing 14th at Darlington and 24th at Martinsville. The other two weekends he was stuck at home, forced to watch others race on TV. See full article at ESPN.com.
AND NASCAR has lifted the indefinite suspension of Brian Rose, who was suspended in April 2003 for failing to take a drug test.(SceneDaily)(4-3-2010)(4-3-2010)
Two Crew Members Suspended for Violating Substance Abuse Policy: Matthew Huffstetler, a crew member for the #01 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and William Keith, a crew member for the #38 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On March 5, both were found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR PR)(3-9-2010)
UPDATE: NASCAR has suspended two crewmen for violating its substance abuse policy, including the former brother-in-law of Jeremy Mayfield. William David Keith, a spotter for David Gilliland in the Sprint Cup Series, is one of the two crewmen and was suspended Tuesday. Keith gave a deposition in Mayfield's legal battle with NASCAR, claiming he witnessed Mayfield using methamphetamines several times. Mayfield became the first driver last May to be suspended under NASCAR's toughened drug policy.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(3-10-2010)
Mayfield's stepmother wants to depose reporter: Jeremy Mayfield's stepmother wants deposition from ESPN reporter in lawsuit against her son. Lisa Mayfield's attorney wants to take a deposition from ESPN.com reporter David Newton in her defamation lawsuit against her estranged stepson, NASCAR driver and former team owner Jeremy Mayfield. Lisa Mayfield had to ask the court for approval to take the deposition out of state in the case, which was filed last July in North Carolina Superior Court. "ESPN reporter David Newton and ESPN are essential and material witnesses to the facts and circumstances involved in this cause of action," Lisa Mayfield's attorney wrote in the request to take the deposition in Connecticut, where ESPN is based. An ESPN spokesman said the network has not been served with a subpoena in the case and therefore had no comment.(Scene Daily)
Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation Of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy: William Hileman, a crew member for the #76 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On Feb. 25, Hileman was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR)(3-1-2010)
Nationwide Series crewman suspended: Kenneth Luna, a crew member for the No. 23 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.
On Feb. 24, Luna was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR)(2-26-2010)
Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation Of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy: William Wheeler, a crew member for the #57 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. Wheeler violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR)(2-12-2010)
NASCAR lists banned substances: NASCAR has added a list of banned substances for its drug testing policy to the 2010 rulebook that all teams have been provided, the body's vice president of racing operations said on Thursday. "What we've done is taken the list of substances we provided to owners at the beginning of last year," Steve O'Donnell said. "We've included that in the rulebook. We've also, for a clarity standpoint, included our entire policy in the rulebook for 2010 as well. We're going to continue to vigorously and aggressively defend ourselves on behalf of the teams and facts that are out there believing we have the toughest policy in sports. If we can make that better we will, and I believe we've done that this year," O'Donnell said. The list was added a year after the drug-related suspension of Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield. At the time, several drug-testing experts questioned the validity of the policy because it lacked a list. Attorneys representing Mayfield, who was suspended after testing positive for methamphetamine, also challenged the validity of the policy without a list. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston strongly disagreed. "The policy remains the same," he said Thursday. "The misuse or abuse of any drug is a violation. That remains today. That's still the policy. What we sent to the teams was a sample of what those substances are."(ESPN)(1-22-2010)
UPDATE: NASCAR has an extensive list of banned substances in its 2010 rule book, which also states that the list is "non-exhaustive." The drug-testing policy is now part of the NASCAR rule book, while before it was a document signed by the driver, who acknowledged understanding the policy, when getting a NASCAR license. The rule states that competitors and officials are prohibited from using, possessing, purchasing, selling or participating in the distribution of any illegal drug, regardless of the amount. Illegal possession and distribution of prescription or over-the-counter medication is also prohibited. The rule book lists banned drugs that might not fall under that category. It also notes that derivatives of the prohibited drugs are not allowed and that the list is not exhaustive. Among the drugs listed:
o Stimulants, such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy (MDMA), Eve (MDEA) and Phentermine.
o Narcotic analgesics, such as hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, heroin, codeine and hydrocodone.
o Ephedrine, such as pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine if used in a manner inconsistent with the instructions provided by the drug manufacturer or in a manner or amount that risks the health, safety or impairs a driver.
o Benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam (Ativan), oxazapam (Serax), temazepam (Restoril), Alpha-hydroxyalprazolam (Xanax) and Nordiazepam (Valium).
o Barbituates, such as amobarbital (Amytal) and secobarbital (Seconal).
o Performance enhancing drugs, such as Human Growth Hormone (hGH), as well as anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), including testosterone.
o Muscle relaxers, such as carisoprodol (Soma), meprobamate (Miltown, Meprospan).
o Sleep aids, such as zolpidem (Ambien)
o Beta blockers, such as alpernolol and carteolol.
o Alcohol: A competitor is prohibited from consuming any alcohol 12 hours prior to or during on-track activity. A driver is considered unfit if the blood-alcohol level is above 20 milligrams per 100 milliliters (0.02 percent).
o Dietary supplements with a warning advising non-use if the purchaser is subject to a drug-testing program even though available without a prescription.
o Masking agents designed to avoid detection, including Aromatase inhibitors that may be used to biologically manipulate the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio, and/or using epitestosterone to artificially alter the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio.(Scene Daily)(1-30-2010)
NASCAR rated with 5th best Drug Testing in sports: The Wall Street Journal examined antidoping policies of 22 major sports or governing bodies and gave them a "clarity quotient" based on the presence of a policy, its accessibility to the public, severity of sanctions for offenders and administration of the code itself. A score of 100 is the gold standard, below 50, insufficient. NASCAR's policy is rated 5th of 22 with a score of 90.
NASCAR: Has nine racing series with close to 2,000 drivers. The misuse or abuse of any drug or alcohol is a violation. Even prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs that may cause a driver "to have a competitive advantage or diminished or impaired ability to perform" on the day of the event are banned. Competitors are subject to out-of-season testing, preseason testing, random testing and testing for cause. Positive test result means an indefinite suspension. Competitors are offered a treatment program to undergo and afterward may seek reinstatement. No drivers' union to contend with and an obligation to protect spectators allow for strict policy.
The four sports ahead of NASCAR: International Boxing Federation / U.S. Boxing Association; International Olympic Committee; International Tennis Federation; International Association of Athletics Federations (track & field).(Wall Street Journal)(11-14-2009)
J.C. France arrested on drug charges: A grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France has been arrested on drug charges. According to a Daytona Beach police report, J.C. France was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of possession of narcotics and driving under the influence. The report states that an officer found a small bag containing a "white cakelike substance" during a traffic stop. France is the son of NASCAR board member Jim France and a driver in NASCAR's Grand-Am Series. According to a statement from NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston, he has been indefinitely suspended from all competition. Poston says Frace is being treated "like any other competitor." France posted $4,500 bond and was released from Volusia County jail on Thursday.(Associated Press), additonal posts at Daytona Beach News Journal and wftv.com.(10-8-2009)
NASCAR: Mayfield again tests positive for meth: NASCAR says Jeremy Mayfield has again tested positive for methamphetamine and wants the federal judge who lifted the driver's drug suspension to reinstate the ban. The positive result from a July 6 random test was included in a U.S. District Court filing Wednesday. The filing includes an affidavit from Mayfield's stepmother, who claims she personally witnessed the driver using methamphetamine at least 30 times over seven years. NASCAR says in its filings that the "A" sample had levels of methamphetamine consistent with habitual users who consume high doses. The filing also claims Mayfield and his attorneys have failed to select a qualified laboratory to test the backup "B" sample.(Associated Press)
AND The general manager of Jeremy Mayfield's race team says he has left the organization because he doesn't believe Mayfield Motorsports will return to the race track. Bobby Wooten says he was the last remaining employee. The team was started this season, and Mayfield said in court documents he had to lay off 10 employees since NASCAR suspended him in May for failing a random drug test. A federal judge has lifted that suspension, but Mayfield did not bring the #41 Toyota to the track in the two races since he was reinstated. Wooten says he does not believe Mayfield has any interest in resurrecting the team.(Associated Press)(7-15-2009)
France defends NASCAR's drug policy: Brian France says NASCAR's drug-testing policy is a fair system that protects its competitors and fans from the dangers of an impaired driver on the race track. The NASCAR chairman says the drug policy is still the best in professional sports, despite a federal judge's decision to reinstate driver Jeremy Mayfield. France says in the interest of safety, NASCAR should be able to suspend a driver who has a positive drug test result.(Associated Press)(7-3-2009)
NASCAR plans no immediate changes to drug policy: NASCAR does not plan any immediate changes to its substance-abuse policy in light of Jeremy Mayfield's victory in obtaining a preliminary injunction forcing NASCAR to lift his suspension for an alleged positive drug test for methamphetamines, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Thursday. Part of Mayfield's case questions the guidelines that NASCAR must follow in its drug-testing policy. Mayfield argues that NASCAR must follow the guidelines for federal agencies; NASCAR contends that it does not have to do so. NASCAR will continue with its random drug-testing policy, which it implemented this year, during this weekend's events at Daytona International Speedway just as it has done all year, Poston said. Poston said he is not aware of any challenges from any crew members suspended this year under the policy, and he did not think the ruling would prompt challenges.(SceneDaily)(7-3-2009)
NASCAR changes drug testing process: #9-Kasey Kahne says NASCAR has stepped up its drug testing procedure since the suspension of Jeremy Mayfield. Kahne said the tests he took prior to the suspension were "in and out" in five to 10 minutes. He said his most recent test two weeks ago at Infineon Raceway took nearly 40 minutes. "It's a process now," Kahne said on Thursday at Daytona. "Every little step you have to sign your name or initial, work with the person that is taking the sample. To me that's because of the whole Mayfield incident, to clarify everything and make sure the driver and also the person taking the sample is on the same page." NASCAR's procedure was under attack when attorneys were seeking a temporary injunction to get Mayfield's suspension lifted, which it was on Wednesday by a federal judge in Charlotte, N.C. Attorneys for Mayfield questioned whether Mayfield saw the seal put on his "A" and "B" samples. Kahne said he always has watched the collector put on the seal, but that the process wasn't so detailed before. #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, who was tested at Dover in early June, said there is a lot more paperwork now. "I did it at Daytona [in February] and it was a little easier," he said. "[At Dover] it was like proof of who you are. I'm like, 'I'm a freaking racer.' " Three-time defending Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson has not been tested since Mayfield's suspension, but said he's had to wait on other drivers who were and it's taken longer. He noted at Sonoma Kahne held up things because he had to go get his driver's license, something that he didn't understand to be required previously.(ESPN.com)(7-3-2009)
NASCAR: Mayfield positive for meth: NASCAR has confirmed suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamines. The confirmation from NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston came Wednesday after Mayfield's attorney mentioned the illegal substance several times during a 45-minute argument against the suspension. Mayfield has denied using methamphetamines. He's in federal court in Charlotte, N.C., trying to have his suspension lifted in time to race this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Mayfield lawyer Bill Diehl argued that NASCAR's testing system is flawed because Mayfield was never given the opportunity to have his backup "B" sample tested by an independent laboratory. The court recessed after Diehl's argument and will reconvene at 2pm/et.(Associated Press/ESPN)(7-1-2009)
NASCAR drug tests 10 crew members during delay: NASCAR randomly drug-tested 10 crew members from 10 teams during the rain delay at the Coca-Cola 600, an apparent tweak to the first three months of in-season testing. Prior to Sunday night, crew chiefs said NASCAR typically informed them when the garage opened if a team member had been selected to give a sample. The individual had four hours to report to testing. Drivers can be tested on any day of the race weekend. But at Lowe's Motor Speedway, NASCAR waited until after the scheduled start of the Coca-Cola 600 to inform teams and ordered individuals to report for testing at the end of the race. Because rain delayed the start, crew members were seen entering the infield care center, where the tests were conducted during intermittent showers. NASCAR toughened its testing policy this season, in part because former Truck Series driver Aaron Fike admitted to using heroin, even on days he raced. It led the sanctioning body to implement mandatory preseason testing for all drivers and crews, as well random testing throughout the season. Previously, NASCAR tested only on reasonable suspicion. Now, at least four drivers, 10 crew members 2 NASCAR officials from all three national series are tested at every event.(Associated Press)(5-24-2009)
NASCAR drivers would like list of banned drugs UPDATE NASCAR declines : #39-Ryan Newman wants to know what drug Jeremy Mayfield has been indefinitely suspended for and a list of all drugs that he could be tested for in the future. So do #83-Brian Vickers and #2-Kurt Busch. "I think everyone wants a list right now,'" Newman said Thursday night before the Pit Crew Challenge at Time Warner Cable Arena. Newman said he plans to discuss the situation with NASCAR. He believes there are enough drivers that want a list of drugs that are being tested for that they can present unified front and force the governing body to provide it moving forward. He is concerned because Mayfield said his positive test was the result of combining a prescription drug with an over-the-counter drug, a claim the doctor that evaluated the test denied. Newman said NASCAR has an obligations to the other 42 drivers on the track and "more importantly the fans" to clarify what happened. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said the policies of not having a list of banned drugs and not revealing what drug was taken could be reevaluated if enough drivers request it. Chairman Brian France is expected to address the policy on Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "The whole system would be fixed if they just told us what Jeremy did," Newman said.(ESPN)
UPDATE: NASCAR chairman Brian France called Jeremy Mayfield's positive drug test "a serious violation" of the sport's toughened new drug policy. France said Friday he considers performance-enhancers and recreational drugs to be serious violations. But a person familiar with Mayfield's test results told The Associated Press that Mayfield did not test positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
That means Mayfield tested positive for a narcotic or a controlled substance, such as cocaine, marijuana or methamphetamine. France would not reveal what Mayfield was caught using, despite a call from several drivers to disclose the drug. "We had a serious violation of our test, our substance-abuse policy, which gets you an automatic and indefinite suspension and that is where we stand with Jeremy," France said. "We've said it's serious." France tried to reassure the drivers, explaining proper use of over-the-counter medication and prescriptions won't lead to NASCAR punishment. "If you should test positive for over-the-counter medications or a prescribed medication that you are on with your doctor, that doesn't result in NASCAR suspending you," France said. "You will ... be asked to explain why you have a certain substance that was identified in a test. That's happened a lot, and it doesn't get you a suspension."(ESPN/AP)(5-15-2009)
Experts says NASCAR drug list should be public: A prominent authority on drug testing says the indefinite suspension of Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield further enhances his belief that the sport needs to provide a public list of banned substances to protect itself legally. Mayfield on Saturday became the first Sprint Cup driver suspended for violating the substance abuse policy. Sources close to the situation said Mayfield claims he took Claritin D, an over-the-counter allergy drug that contains pseudoephedrine, a substance banned by most sports. Mayfield said in a prepared statement that the positive test was the result of combining a prescribed and over-the-counter drug, a possiblity the doctor who runs NASCAR's drug testing policy denied was plausible. "A combination of an over-the-counter drug taken with a prescription drug could not cause the positive that we took action on," Dr. David Black of the Tennessee-based Aegis Labs said. But what concerns Dr. Charles Yesalis, a Penn State professor who has testified before Congress on performance-enhancing drugs and spent 25 years researching drug testing, is that drivers are not provided a list of banned substances.
The NFL, NBA, MLB PGA Tour and NCAA each make available public lists in their drug testing policies. "That alone to me is ludicrous," Yesalis said Monday. "That just kind of violates your sense of fair play. It never would fly in MLB or the NFL because they have a union.
"The drivers don't have a union, but if somebody did that to me I'd go get myself a nasty lawyer. What if somebody in management or ownership doesn't like you? They can use that as a weapon against you." Black said the lack of a list makes the program stronger because it gives the governing body more flexibility. Yesalis doesn't disagree that the findings of the test are legitimate. He, too, never has come across a positive test caused by the use of Claritin D, although "if somebody doubled or tripled the dose I wouldn't want to be next to them at 190 miles per hour going into the first turn at Darlington." But for legal reasons he believes NASCAR needs to be more up front with what they are looking for. Because his is not considered an appealable offense, legal action could be Mayfield's only recourse if he chooses to fight the suspension. Sources close to the situation said that hasn't been determined yet.(ESPN)(5-11-2009)
NOTE all the Jeremy Mayfield news and rumors are post on the Jeremy Mayfield News page [used to be the #41 Team News and links page]
Mayfield, others suspended after violating substance abuse policy: Jeremy Mayfield, driver of the #41 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Tony Martin, a licensed crew member with the #34 team in the Sprint Cup Series and Ben Williams, a licensed crew member with the #16 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. All three were found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 7-5 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book.[was not alcohol due to SPEED](NASCAR PR)
AND NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield has been suspended indefinitely after failing a random drug test. The result stems from a test last weekend at Richmond International Raceway. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter will not reveal what banned drug Mayfield used. Hunter said it was not an alcohol-related offense. Mayfield failed to qualify for Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Speedway.
He is driving this season in a car he owns himself. Although he raced it into the season-opening Daytona 500, he has failed to qualify for six of the 11 other Sprint Cup events this season. Mayfield is the first driver suspended under NASCAR's improved substance abuse policy, which went into effect this season.(Associated Press)(5-9-2009)
Mayfield Statement: Statement from Jeremy Mayfield - Owner/Driver of the #41 Toyota Camry: "As both a team owner and a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, I have immense respect for the enforcement policies NASCAR has in place. In my case, I believe that the combination of a prescribed medicine and an over the counter medicine reacted together and resulted in a positive drug test. My Doctor and I are working with both Dr. Black and NASCAR to resolve this matter. Mayfield Motorsports remains committed to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the organization will announce an interim owner and a temporary replacement driver early next week. Those roles will commence immediately beginning with next week's Sprint Open and continuing through Charlotte and beyond."(Mayfield Motorsports)(5-9-2009)
Crew Member in Violation of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy UPDATE: Paul Chodora, a licensed crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On Feb. 11, Chodora was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 7-5 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book.(NASCAR PR)(2-19-2009)
UPDATE: Chodora, who NASCAR confirmed was a member of Jeremy Mayfield's #41 Sprint Cup team Thursday, is the first person to be punished under the policy that was amended last season to mandatory preseason testing and random testing throughout the season. Kevin Harvick fired two members of his Truck Series team that failed drug tests given by his organization, not NASCAR, prior to the season. Mayfield's team was formed only a month ago and crew members were not all hired at the time of NASCAR's preseason testing in January. Chodora was given a license by the governing body to participate in Sunday's Daytona 500, then was tested and suspended after only a day and a half of work. Chodora has served previously as a front tire changer with Johnny Sauter's team.(ESPN)(2-19-2009)
STATEMENT: The following is a statement from driver/owner Jeremy Mayfield of Mayfield Motorsports regarding Paul Chodora, who was found to be in violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy: "Mayfield Motorsports respects the decision by NASCAR to indefinitely suspend Paul Chodora. We as an organization appreciate NASCAR's drug testing policies and policing efforts as it makes the sport stronger overall. If Paul doesn't comply with NASCAR's reinstatement process, then he will no longer be an employee of Mayfield Motorsports."(Mayfield Motorsports/Co-Pilott PR)(2-19-2009)
NASCAR: Drivers pass preseason drug tests UPDATE but...: NASCAR does not anticipate suspending any drivers who took their preseason drug tests last week in North Carolina, sanctioning body spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "We are proud of how the process worked so far," Poston said in a statement. "All drivers, crew members and officials will have passed the substance-abuse test going into the season." Drivers in NASCAR's three national series must pass a drug test during the preseason, and most drivers took their test last week at the NASCAR Research and Development Center. This is the first season that NASCAR is requiring its drivers to pass a preseason drug test. Its previous policy allowed NASCAR to test at any time for reasonable suspicion - which is still the policy today - but did not require the passing of a preseason test. Teams had to submit crew rosters and list those who had passed a drug test in order to have them licensed to work on the cars. "We will continue to randomly test throughout the season," Poston said, "and our reasonable suspicion remains in place, making NASCAR's substance abuse policy one of the most comprehensive in sports."(SceneDaily)(1-31-2009)
UPDATE: All drivers in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Nationwide Truck Series passed the first round of drug testing under NASCAR's new policy, officials said on Thursday, but that wasn't the case for crew members. Kevin Harvick said two pit crew members for his Truck Series team were released after failed tests and he expects there are others throughout all three series. "There's definitely more out there,'' Harvick said during media day at Daytona International Speedway. "There's a lot of people that are looking for jobs right now that are straight-up people. It couldn't have come at a better time.'' NASCAR implemented a policy that calls for mandatory preseason testing for all drivers and crew members and random testing throughout the season by an independent laboratory after former Truck Series driver Aaron Fike admitted last season he competed under the influence of heroin. The tests are focused on narcotics, beta blockers and steroids. Random testing will be done at the track almost every race weekend, beginning at Daytona next week. Anywhere from 12 to 14 crew members and two drivers per series will be tested each weekend. A failed test by a driver will be made public, but not those by crew members. Three failed tests will result in an automatic lifetime ban. In the past, testing was done only on "reasonable suspicion.''(ESPN.com)(2-6-2009)
Newman questions timeline of drug testing: Ryan Newman supports NASCAR's new drug-testing policy for 2009 but says he was surprised that the sanctioning body so clearly defined a designated time frame for the tests. "I might be opening up a can of worms when I say this, but why would you announce you're going to have a drug-testing time?" Newman said during the Stewart-Haas Racing portion of the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I mean the whole idea of announcing it kind of takes away from the people that know how to cheat the system. Obviously, I know there's probably going to be some follow-ups with certain people ... but it just seems to me that you're only eliminating the really, really naïve people in the first testing or in the first screening like this." The sanctioning body issued a memo to teams in December, requiring they submit drug-testing results from all crew members, spotters and race-day support personnel, including engineers, engine tuners, shock specialists, chassis specialists and tire specialists, by Jan. 16. NASCAR was to oversee drug testing for all drivers beginning the week of Jan. 20.(Scene Daily)(1-30-2009)
Deadline for team drug testing nears: NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck teams have one more week to file an initial list of crew members who have passed a drug test and are eligible for a NASCAR license. NASCAR issued a memo to teams last month, setting a Jan. 16 deadline for crew members, which includes all over-the-wall pit crew members, the crew chief, car chief, pit crew support, including team members that are responsible for tires, fuel, and pit crew operation, as well as spotters and race day support, including engineers, engine tuners, shock specialists, chassis specialists and tire specialists, to have the test results. All tests must be conducted by a laboratory certified by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Teams do not need to submit the names of crewmen who don't pass. NASCAR plans to oversee the testing of drivers itself, beginning the week of Jan. 20, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Thursday. According to NASCAR policy, any driver who fails a test will be indefinitely suspended.(Scene Daily)(1-12-2009)
NASCAR to begin tougher drug testing in January: NASCAR will test drivers for performance-enhancing drugs next month under a tougher policy that also bans using illegal drugs and abusing prescription medications. NASCAR likely will test drivers the third week of January, and crew members must submit results from an approved lab by Jan. 16, according to documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. A NASCAR memo sent to teams lists specific banned substances for which crew members must be screened. No similar guidelines were issued for drivers, as NASCAR reserves the right to test competitors for anything. Under the old policy, NASCAR had the right to randomly test based on suspicion of abuse. Under the tougher guidelines first announced in September, everyone will be tested before the season begins, and random testing will continue throughout the year. NASCAR expects to randomly test 12 to 14 individuals per series each weekend in 2009. The memo, dated Dec. 8, is the first time the new policy has been laid out in writing and specifies who falls under the guidelines. Those who must be tested before Jan. 16 include: pit crew members, including "over-the-wall" crew members, the crew chief, car chief, team members responsible for tires, fuel and pit crew operation, spotters and race-day support personnel that includes engineers, engine tuners, shock specialists, chassis specialists and tire specialists.
Among the substances those participants must be tested for are:
- Seven different amphetamines, including methamphetamine and PMA, a synthetic psychostimulant and hallucinogen.
- Three drugs classified under ephedrine.
- 13 different narcotics, including codeine and morphine.
- Ten different benzodiazepines and barbituates.
- Marijuana, cocaine, zolpidem, nitrites, chromates and drugs that can increase specific gravity.
No such list exists for the drivers, but spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed NASCAR will test for performance-enhancing drugs. The driver testing, which will be administered by NASCAR, had been scheduled for preseason testing at Daytona next month. But because testing has been suspended for 2009, NASCAR likely will screen drivers when most are in Charlotte next month for the annual media tour of race shops.(Associated Press)(12-18-2008)
NASCAR Amends Substance Abuse Policy: NASCAR announced today it has amended its longstanding substance abuse policy to include random testing beginning in 2009. The amended policy mandates that all drivers in NASCAR's three national series be tested prior to the start of the 2009 season. Team owners must also verify that all licensed crew members have been tested by a certified lab prior to the start of the season. In addition, NASCAR will test its officials prior to the start of the 2009 season. Drivers, over-the-wall crew members and NASCAR officials thereafter will be subject to random tests throughout the year. "We have made a very good policy even better with the addition of random tests," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "NASCAR's policy has long given us the ability to test anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Random tests now provide us and the industry with additional information." NASCAR's substance abuse policy has always prohibited the misuse or abuse of any drug. This means that a violation of the policy can be triggered with the use of any drug or medication if NASCAR believes it has been abused or misused. NASCAR's sweeping policy of reasonable suspicion remains in effect. Penalties for violation of NASCAR's substance abuse policy will continue to be among the toughest in sports - immediate suspension from competition. Competitors that violate the policy will continue to be required to meet detailed criteria prescribed by NASCAR's outside experts in order to be considered for reinstatement. While it is possible that a competitor could receive a lifetime ban for just one violation, a third violation will automatically result in a lifetime ban. NASCAR will continue to work with its outside experts at AEGIS Sciences Corporation and Dr. David L. Black. AEGIS, which has worked with NASCAR on designing and implementing its substance abuse policy, is the largest independent sports and forensic certified testing laboratory in the United States. AEGIS personnel will be responsible for the administration of all preseason and random substance abuse tests.(NASCAR PR)(9-20-2008)
Former racer Fike admits using heroin on race days: Suspended NASCAR driver Aaron Fike now admits that he not only secretly struggled with drug addiction for years but also shot up heroin on some race days. In his first in-depth interview since being arrested for heroin possession last summer, the 25-year-old said he had been using heroin for eight months and suffered from a dependency on painkillers for six years before that. In the weeks prior to his arrest, his once-a-week experiment with heroin had become a daily routine, including the days he was competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR officials, when informed of Fike's admission, said the league has kept an eye on the more proactive random drug testing policies recently ramped up by the "Big Four" major league sports but point to the list of recent suspensions as proof that the current policy is working. "No system is perfect," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications. "Our current policy has served us extremely well. We do have discussions from time to time regarding possible alternatives, so I wouldn't rule those out. But I think what our policy has allowed us to do up to this certain point in time, it has served us well." Fike said he hopes that his admissions will force NASCAR officials to rethink their current drug testing policy. Fike has returned to USAC's Midget series, where he is tested upon arrival at the track. He is currently serving a two-year probation and continues rehabilitation and counseling. Later this month he will launch www.onthewinningtrack.com as part of his court-agreed youth drug education program. He has also talked briefly with NASCAR officials about beginning the arduous reinstatement process, but realizes that his once-promising stock car career may be over.(ESPN)(4-9-2008)
Shame Hmeil Suspensions:
Shane Hmiel Suspensions page
Strike Three for Hmiel - Banned for Life: NASCAR officials confirmed Friday that former NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series driver Shane Hmiel failed a third drug test and has been banned from NASCAR for life. Hmiel failed two prior tests in 2003 and '05, and NASCAR officials said Friday that he failed a third within the past week, prompting his banishment.(Speed Channel)
AND Driver Shane Hmiel has been suspended from competition for life by NASCAR after failing a third substance abuse test.
"Shane failed to fulfill the prescribed rehabilitation program scheduled by NASCAR," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Friday. "As a result, Shane has forfeited his opportunity to compete in any NASCAR-sanctioned events." Asked if there is any possibility of Hmiel racing in NASCAR sometime in the future, he said, "No, it is a lifetime ban." Hmiel, the 26-year-old son of longtime crew chief and team official Steve Hmiel, was first suspended in September 2003 after failing a test. He completed a required rehabilitation program and was reinstated for NASCAR competition in February 2004. But he was suspended again last June after failing a second substance abuse test.
NASCAR had laid out a road map for Hmiel's possible reinstatement in 2007 that included medical and psychological reviews and frequent testing. NASCAR said Hmiel failed one of those tests. NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy, based on "reasonable suspicion," allows the sanctioning organization to broadly administer tests virtually anytime, anywhere.(ESPN.com/AP)(2-24-2006)
Hmiel kicked out of Dover? UPDATE - OFFICIAL, fails drug 2nd test: Been told from folks at the track that #32-Shane Hmiel was was escorted out Dover International Speedway after a privite meeting in the NASCAR trailer. Supposedly all reports have Hmeil failing a randon dug test. Hmeil was 2nd fastest in practice today. Being told Ron Hornaday will drive the #32 car at Dover.
NASCAR STATEMENT: NASCAR has suspended driver Shane Hmiel indefinitely, for violation of the sanctioning body's
substance abuse policy. NASCAR officials said Thursday that Hmiel was tested for banned substances after NASCAR Busch Series qualifying at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The results of the test were positive, violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-E (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2005 NASCAR rule book. Hmiel is 14th in the current NASCAR Busch Series driver championship standings.(NASCAR PR)(6-2-2005)
Permanent Ban for Hmiel? [Hmiel] who has served as a lightning rod for criticism and controversy has been suspended indefinitely, and it's uncertain whether he will be allowed back again. Hmiel followed a NASCAR-mandated recovery program and was reinstated five months after a positive test following a Busch Series race on Sept. 5, 2003 at Richmond International Raceway. That might not be an option after Hmiel entered uncertain ground by testing positive twice. NASCAR hasn't decided yet how another appeal would be handled. A decision could come Monday, and a NASCAR source said a permanent ban was being considered.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2005)
Ephedra ruling won't change MLB, NFL, NASCAR policies: Ephedra will remain a banned substance in at least three professional sports, even if a recent court ruling ends up putting the controversial dietary supplement back on store shelves.
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations, confirmed in an e-mail that ephedra will remain on baseball's banned substances list. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed ephedra, which league officials banned in 2002, would remain on the league's banned substances list. The Washington Post quoted NFL Players Association leader Gene Upshaw as saying, "The dangers are still there, as far as we're concerned.. .. We have enough concerns about this. It's still going to be on our banned list."
NASCAR banned ephedra in January 2004 after a USA TODAY report quoted one racing team's trainer as estimating that 80% of crew members had tried supplements containing ephedra. "Based on what I've read about the court ruling, there's no reason for us to change," NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said Friday. The Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra in April 2004, saying supplements that contained the substance present "an unreasonable risk of illness or injury."(USA Today)(4-16-2005)
More on Drugs and NASCAR: NASCAR confirmed Wednesday that it has issued 40 to 45 drug tests during the past two years, a figure that includes multiple tests for some individuals. NASCAR only drug tests individuals based on reasonable suspicion that they are abusing a drug. Jim Hunter, NASCAR spokesman, said that Shane Hmiel has been tested 12 to 15 times since he was reinstated in February 2004. NASCAR suspended Hmiel on Sept. 18, 2003, for violation of the series' substance abuse policy. NASCAR required Hmiel to attend counseling and periodic random testing as part of his reinstatement. The issue of drugs in sports has grown since recent government hearings on steroids in Major League Baseball. The House Committee on Government Reform, which held those hearings, is investigating performance-enhancing drugs in sports. The committee sent letters Tuesday to several sports organizations asking for their drug testing policy. NASCAR has not been asked to submit such information.(News and Record)(4-7-2005)
Congress not investigating NASCAR about drugs...yet: The House Committee on Government Reform, which is investigating performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, sent letters Tuesday to seven sports organizations requesting information on their testing policies. One sport won't be getting a letter right away: NASCAR. Robert White, spokesman for committee chairman Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., said the committee has not decided whether to ask to review NASCAR's drug testing policy. "We're looking to see whether it makes sense for us to take a closer look at them," White said. "At this point, we don't know if it's something we want to do." The committee sent a letter to the NFL last week requesting its drug testing policy after a report that three Carolina Panthers got steroids from a South Carolina doctor. Tuesday, the committee sent letters to the NBA, NHL, Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer Federation, U.S. Tennis Association, USA Track and Field and USA Cycling.(News and Record)(4-6-2005)
Drug Testing to be Expanded? UPDATE: Drug testing for NASCAR drivers could be radically expanded if NASCAR executives follow the strict new Olympics-type anti-doping rules adopted by the FIA, the world governing body of auto racing this week. NASCAR racing has so far been immune to the steroids controversy swirling around the NFL and major-league baseball. But are steroids a problem in NASCAR? What is NASCAR's policy on steroids? And how will NASCAR react to the latest steroid-sports controversy? NASCAR officials say that steroids use is a non-issue in their sport. Nevertheless, several drivers and crew chiefs say they wouldn't be surprised to see NASCAR opening a round of steroidw testing, under its broad drug-use policy, which all NASCAR team members must sign before the start of each season. The FIA just announced that it has agreed to follow the World Anti-Doping Agency's rules for all its races. And all NASCAR drivers and car owners must hold an FIA license in order to compete in the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis and the Talladega 500. That would appear to mean that all Nextel Cup drivers would have to be drug-tested for the full WADA list of prohibited drugs, which includes a litany of anabolic steroids. Jeff Burton said: "No, there is not a steroid problem in NASCAR. However, it's always best to be proactive, and get on the front edge of that thing and make sure nobody is using steroids. "Steroids would help tire changers, jackmen and those kind of guys." "I don't think drivers need steroids for stamina," Jimmy Spencer said. "You don't have to be real strong to drive a race car, but you have to have good stamina. Steroids work against that."(Winston Salem Journal)
UPDATE: Jeff Gordon says he doesn't know much about steroids, and doesn't feel a steroid would give a driver any added advantage, "I just think when you're in a racecar and you're traveling the speeds you're traveling, you're mind doesn't have a choice but to concentrate. There might be some natural herbs that guys could take to help them with that...I've certainly never had to do that or thought about doing that. At a track like this (Bristol) or a road course it's very physical, muscle endurance is defiantly something that's important so being in good shape and having a workout that allows you to stay fresh. I would say that the only thing for us is more like a bicycle rider like a Lance Armstrong. It's more about keeping your body hydrated. We're not trying to get really strong. You don't need to be physically really strong." Asked if he could tell if someone on his team was taking steroids or any illegal substance Gordon said, "I'm not sure what the signs are but we would put that responsibility on our trainers that train the guys and make sure they're doing what they need to do to stay fit but doing it in a way that's healthy for their bodies."(PRN's Bristol Coverage)(4-2-2005)
UPDATE: Steroids in NASCAR? The governing body says performance-enhancing drugs are not an issue in Nextel Cup or its other series, but an expert in the field speaks to the contrary . "There's a lot of money involved in NASCAR," said Charles E. Yesalis, a Penn State health policy professor and sports-drug expert who has testified about steroids on Capital Hill. "Anybody that thinks people in one sport are more honest than another sport are just plane naive." Yesalis said NASCAR, which does not have a mandatory drug testing policy, would be smart to turn its entire testing program over to the World Anti-Doping Agency to avoid the scrutiny other sports are under. "I doubt they have a huge problem, but it would deter one if they did," he said. Yesalis, who will be at Bristol Motor Speedway for today's Nextel Cup race, said steroid use in NASCAR likely would come with pit crew members that require strength, speed and agility. He said steroids would have little if no impact on a driver's performance. Yesalis said he first became wary of possible steroid use in NASCAR when he heard teams were using professional strength and conditioning trainers to work with pit crew members. NASCAR has a drug policy that calls for random testing only as a result of reasonable suspicion of abuse of an illegal substance, including steroids. Yesalis said there aren't always physical signs with steroids. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said there is no mandatory testing as there is in the NFL and other sports because the sanctioning body doesn't perceive there to be a problem. "There's not even a suspicion of a problem in the sport," said Poston, reminding many teams have their own drug testing policy separate from NASCAR's. "We think the policy is very sound, that it is effective." Some in the garage agree with Yesalis that NASCAR is being naive, particularly in light of the recent congressional hearings on steroids in baseball that is being expanded to the NFL after recent allegations of steroid involvement by members of the Carolina Panthers. They say NASCAR should take a more proactive position to avoid unnecessary scrutiny. NASCAR may not have a choice but to get involved in the steroid issue. The House Committee on Government Reform recently sent a letter to the NFL asking the league to submit information on its steroid testing policy.
Only four drivers - Brian Rose in the truck series, Shane Hmiel and Kevin Grubb in Busch, Sammy Potashnick in the Winston Series West - are known to have tested positive during the past three years.(in part from The State)(4-3-2005)
More Trouble for Brian Rose UPDATE: Former Trucks Series driver Brian Rose is facing criminal charges again after a traffic stop Wednesday, according to a Bowling Green Police Department report. Police said they stopped Rose, 23, after he was seen driving erratically on U.S. 31-W By-Pass. The officer reportedly smelled alcohol and marijuana inside the vehicle. Rose was chewing on something and the officer ordered him to spit it out. The "chaw," as Rose described it, was marijuana, according to the report. After searching Rose and his SUV, the officer found marijuana in Rose's underwear and a handgun concealed in a Crown Royal bag. The vehicle also had expired tags. Rose was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence, expired registration and DUI. He was released from the Warren County Regional Jail on Thursday after posting a $10,000 cash bond. Rose began facing a series of problems in August 2002 after he lost his racing sponsorship; a month later his family's home burned to the ground from an undetermined cause; in April he was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR; in July he was charged with first-degree alcohol intoxication, second offense, possession of marijuana, first-degree prescription in improper container, second-degree possession of an illegal substance of an unspecified origin and first-degree promoting contraband. Those charges have been sent to a grand jury.(Bowling Green Daily News)(9-16-2003)
UPDATE: Two arrest warrants have been issued this week for former NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series racer Brian Christopher Rose. But Rose, 23, of Bowling Green has not yet been arrested, according to jail records. The first warrant was issued Tuesday by District Court Judge Brent Potter, who was revoking Rose's bond in a July drug-related case, and the second came Thursday from District Court Judge Sam Potter, who issued an arrest warrant for Rose after he failed to show up to court in relation to a Sept. 10 traffic stop. At the time, police pulled Rose over because they said he was driving erratically on U.S. 31-W By-Pass. Police said Rose was chewing a wad of marijuana and a search turned up more marijuana in Rose's underwear and a concealed weapon in the vehicle.(Bowling Green Daily News)
Rose Suspended UPDATE 3 Appeal Denied: NASCAR Craftsman Truck series driver Brian Rose has been informed by NASCAR officials that he has been indefinitely suspended from the series, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Rose has been suspended for "actions detrimental to stock car racing" and a formal announcement regarding his suspension is expected to be made Monday. Rose's suspension does not come as a result of actions during a race or on the track, but NASCAR officials are unlikely to be more specific about the cause, sources said Saturday. Rose has started in two of the series' four races in 2003. He finished 14th at Darlington, S.C., and 24th at the most recent race at Martinsville, Va. He competed in 21 races in 2002 with one top-five and five top-10 finishes while driving for Bobby Hamilton Racing. He made his series debut in 2001.(Charlotte Observer)(4-26-2003)
UPDATE: NASCAR officials announced today that NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Brian C. Rose has been suspended indefinitely for actions detrimental to stock car racing (Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book).(NASCAR PR), no idea why he was suspended, meaning the details.(4-28-2003)
UPDATE 2: Brian Rose tells this week's NASCAR Winston Cup Scene that he is working to resolve the issues surrounding his indefinite suspension by NASCAR so he can return to competition. While NASCAR did not specify the reasons for its actions, the 23-year-old driver told Scene he was suspended for not following NASCAR's instructions on taking a drug test. "I was told to go to a specific location by NASCAR," Rose said. "I went across from that location and checked into an emergency hospital when I should have remained at the designated location. I should have paid more specific attention and detail to what NASCAR told me to do. It was my own fault I didn't follow specific procedures." He said all of the tests were negative.(Scene Daily)(4-30-2003)
UPDATE 3: On May 9, 2003, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Brian Rose. The penalty did not stem from a racing competition, but instead from a clinical laboratory test the Appellant was directed to take by NASCAR in accordance with NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy. The penalty imposed by NASCAR was indefinite suspension. During the Hearing, the Appellant admitted that he failed to properly comply with the testing procedures set forth in the Substance Abuse Policy. NASCAR, at its discretion, may wish to schedule another substance abuse test for the Appellant at some future time, as well as any additional requirements to assure compliance with NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy. However, the Commission finds that NASCAR acted correctly in imposing an indefinite suspension in light of the facts. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(5-9-2003)
NASCAR Driver Arrested UPDATE: A NASCAR driver in Central Florida for SpeedWeeks is under arrest for drugs. A deputy pulled over Sammy Potashnick in Flagler county. The deputy arrested Potashnick after noticing his car going north in the southbound lane on a divided road... heading right for him. When deputies finally pulled him over, they say he didn't know where he was at the time. Police say he admitted to taking numerous vicatin painkillers without a prescription and smoking crack cocaine. Both of which were found inside the car. Potashnick who was in town to get more sponsors for his racing company, was scheduled to make his Busch series debut next weekend in Rockingham(NC). No word if that will happen. NASCAR is investigating the incident.(icFlorida/WFTV)(2-15-2002)
UPDATE: Sammy Potashnick was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of crack cocaine and prescription drugs without a prescription. Potashnick, 27, of Sikeston, MO., who is second in NASCAR's Winston West Series and was scheduled to drive in this year's Busch Series, has won more than $12,000 in the Winston West Series this year in his No. 65 Chevrolet. Potashnick had been scheduled to drive in the BGN for Jay Robinson's #49 team at the Rockingham 200 in North Carolina next Saturday. Robinson, in Daytona Beach for Speed Weeks, said it was too soon to say whether Potashnick would be allowed to drive the #49 car next week. Potashnick was not scheduled to race this week at Daytona. He was arrested on Old Kings Road about 4:30 a.m. Thursday after what a Flagler County sheriff's deputy described as a near head-on collision. According to authorities, Potashnick was on the wrong side of the road driving north on Old Kings Road near its intersection with Palm Coast Parkway. When deputy Jason Jolicoeur turned south onto the road, Potashnick swerved to avoid him. Jolicoeur decided to pull Potashnick over. The race car driver was disoriented, carrying prescription drugs of some kind without a prescription bottle and had a rock of crack cocaine in a cigarette box stashed in the center console of his rental car, the Sheriff's Office said. Deputy David Edmonds, riding with Jolicoeur, arrested Potashnick after the brief interview, according to the Sheriff's Office. Potashnick was taken to Memorial Hospital-Flagler to be checked out, then to the Flagler County Inmate Facility where he was booked on the charges and subsequently released on $10,000 bail. Officials from Lucas Oil Products Inc., which sponsors Potashnick's SP Racing team, expressed surprise Thursday night on learning of the news, but said they would have no comment until Friday morning. Jolicoeur said Potashnick told the deputies he had taken some prescription drugs after a family argument.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-15-2002)
Skinner News - UPDATE: The son of Winston Cup driver Mike Skinner was arrested in North Carolina on Thursday on multiple drug charges. A spokesman for the Randolph County Sheriff's department said they arrested Michael James Skinner, 22, of Randleman, N.C., after a search warrant turned up valium, anabolic steroids, marijuana and two digital scales with cocaine residue on them in his home and garage. Officials said they also found 88.9 grams of cocaine inside a race car belonging to the younger Skinner. He was jailed and bond was set at $100,000.(ESPN/AP) ESPN2's RPM 2Night also reported this, and Skinner's son, Jamie (nickname) raced in two CTS races and four BGN races.(11-3-2000)
UPDATE Mike Skinner Comments: The following are comments by Mike Skinner on the Nov. 2 arrest of his 22-year-old son, Michael James (Jamie) Skinner, on violations of drug laws. "I'm devastated by the news as any parent would be," said Skinner. "But right now, since we don't have all the information, there's not a lot I can say," said Skinner. "Jamie and I talked on the telephone but it was a conversation between me and my son that will be kept private. I own the house and the shop where Jamie lived and rented them to him. It is not the home I have in Sophia (N.C.). I spend a small amount of time there during the year but I've lived full time in Spruce Creek (a suburb of Daytona Beach, Fla.) for about a year now. I will make a further statement after I know all of the details. Until then, there's not a lot more I can say."(RCR PR)(11-4-2000)