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Phil Allaway · Thursday October 17, 2013
Since NASCAR instituted their current Substance Abuse Policy at the start of the 2009 season, we’ve seen a number of people working in the sport fail drug tests and get suspended. The most notable suspension occurred when Jeremy Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamine and was suspended hours before the Southern 500 at Darlington, which created a complete circus.
On Thursday afternoon, NASCAR announced that Todd Parrott, crew chief of the No. 43 Smithfield Foods Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, has been suspended indefinitely for violating NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy. He is the first Sprint Cup crew chief to be suspended for violating the policy.
In their press release, NASCAR stated that Parrott was in violation of Sections 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing) and 19 (Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. In addition, it appears that NASCAR was very quick to enact punishment as the suspension was handed down the same day (October 17) as the infraction was discovered, which is a little unusual.
Richard Petty Motorsports issued a statement supporting NASCAR’s decision.
“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 Sammy Johns, RPM’s Vice President of Operations and Competition. “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.”
Johns, a former Sprint Cup crew chief in his own right (most notably with MB2 Motorsports), will take over as Aric Almirola’s crew chief starting this weekend at Talladega and will remain in the position for the foreseeable future.
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