NASCAR veteran and Speed TV analyst Kyle Petty was asked about the newest revelations surrounding A.J. Allmendinger's indefinite suspension from NASCAR for failing a random drug test.
Allmendinger on Tuesday told several media outlets he took a pill from a friend of a friend that turned out to be Adderall, for which he did not have a prescription.
Q: Allmendinger has said Adderall was the substance found in his drug test. Are you surprised a driver would risk a top ride by taking a substance from a friend without knowing what it is or what ingredients it contained?
Q: If the substance for which he tested positive indeed was Adderall, how, if at all, does that affect his chances of making a comeback in NASCAR in a middle-to-top-tier ride?
“After everything that has happened over the last couple of months to AJ and the sport, I hope drivers in the future would look at this and learn from it and understand not only do they put themselves in a bad place, they also put their teams, sponsors and the sport in a bad situation – in a place this sport never thought it would be. We are not a stick-and-ball sport that usually has these issues. I hope they’d learn from this. On a more cautionary note, I hope that every PR rep in the country who has anything to do with a major athlete looks at how this situation was handled by AJ’s camp and does exactly the opposite the next time this happens.”
Q: Do you think statements made by AJ’s camp throughout this process have made it more difficult for him to rebound and return to the driver’s seat in NASCAR down the road?
Petty: “This is only the perspective of one guy who sits at a desk on SPEED on the weekends and runs his mouth, but from what I’ve been told and from what I know of this situation, the bridges may be mended in the garage area, but media-wise, it could be a while before those bridges are mended. A lot of things were told to the media to the degree the media almost felt used. You cannot put the media in that position. They may not be your friend as a driver, but they’re not your enemy, either. When you start treating them that way and with that disregard, then you end up in situations such as this one.”