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NASCAR reinstates Spencer Gallagher after failed drug test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR has reinstated Xfinity Series driver Spencer Gallagher, who had been suspended over the past nine weeks for a failed drug test.

The sanctioning body announced Wednesday that it had reinstated Gallagher, who had to complete a recovery program after undergoing a substance-abuse assessment.

Gallagher will not race this weekend at Daytona, as GMS Racing already has a contract with Chase Elliott to drive its No. 23 car. Gallagher will return next week at Kentucky Speedway and run the remainder of the races in which the team does not have a contract with another driver, the team announced. Elliott is still scheduled, at the moment, to compete next month at Bristol.

Although Gallagher has a victory and is still 14th in the series standings despite missing six races, he is not eligible to make the playoffs because NASCAR will not waive the playoff-eligibility requirement that he participate in each race weekend.

"The whole GMS organization is very proud of Spencer for getting reinstated after completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program," GMS Racing president Mike Beam said in a statement.

NASCAR does not say what drug was involved when announcing a failed test nor when the test was taken. Gallagher's suspension was announced four days after he won at Talladega, but the test likely was done in the weeks prior to that race weekend.

"I want to assure everyone in the NASCAR community this one-time error in judgment will never happen again," Gallagher said in a statement May 2.

Gallagher is the son of team owner Maurice Gallagher, majority owner and CEO of Allegiant Airlines.

"I would like to say that I am sorry to all of the GMS organization for my actions, especially my team and team owner, who have worked so hard this year and have put faith in me," Spencer Gallagher said May 2.

"I also want to apologize to NASCAR, Chevrolet and my fans for letting them down. I have not upheld the behavior that is expected of me. I promise you all here and now, I will do whatever it takes to make this right."