After Regan Smith moved to the No.88 car for this weekend’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, that left the No.51 James Finch car without a driver, hours before practice. Smith was scheduled to drive the No.51 car for the rest of the season but after Dale Earnhardt Jr announced he was going to sit out for the next two weeks with a concussion, Smith moved to the No.88 for at least two weeks.
All the driver moving around left the No.51 without a driver for this weekend’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Car owner James Finch needed to find a driver and quick. Finch called formerly suspended driver A.J Allmendinger. Allmendinger accepted the offer to drive the car this weekend at Charlotte.
Allmendinger hasn’t competed in NASCAR since the Kentucky race in June. Allmendinger was scheduled to drive the No.22 car for Penske Racing this season but after Allmendinger was informed of a failed drug test, he was taken out of the car before the July Daytona race. Allmendinger completed NASCAR’s ‘Road to Recover Program’ in late August and he was reinstated in NASCAR last month. Allmendinger was spotted at the track for the first time last week in Talladega and now he’s back in the garage this weekend but in a race car.
Allmendinger is only scheduled to race the No.51 car this weekend but Smith won’t be in the No.51 next weekend so we could see Allmendinger back in the car. The failed drug test put a permanent scar on Allmendinger’s career and now he is starting to work his way back up in our sport. Before his failed drug test, Allmendinger was given the opportunity to drive for the best team he was ever asked to drive for. Once Allmendinger failed the drug test, he was released from Penske Racing and now he has to work his way back up in the NASCAR team ranks.
All NASCAR owners will be keeping an eye on Allmendinger this weekend and they will evaluate his performance and consider giving him a ride. Allmendinger currently has no scheduled races past this weekend so a good run this weekend could be big for Allmendinger.