A.J. Allmendinger, the driver of the No. 22 Penske Dodge was suspended prior to the Coca Zero 400 on Saturday, July 7. Dinger was replaced by Sam Hornish, Jr. who had to fly in from Charlotte. Dinger had posted top 10 finishes in his two previous Sprint Cup starts.
1. Jeremy Mayfield
Jeremy Mayfield won five races and finished 7th in the point standings in 1998 prior to being suspended by NASCAR in 2009 for testing positive for banned substances. He filed a lawsuit and was able to get a temporary injunction against NASCAR, but failed a second drug test and was suspended again. He was later sued by a mail carrier who was attacked by some pitbulls owned by Mayfield. In 2011 authorities received a tip that Mayfield had been stealing items to finance his meth habit, and raided his home. They located 1.5 grams of meth, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in stolen equipment.
2. Tim Richmond
Tim Richmond was an IndyCar and NASCAR driver who won 13 Winston Cup races between 1982 and 1987. Richmond became ill in 1987, with what would later be revealed as HIV/AIDS. He was suspended by NASCAR in 1988 for violating the substance abuse policy with what would later be revealed to be Sudafed and Advil in his system. Richmond sued NASCAR and was reinstated, but never drove again. He died on August 13, 1989. He was later named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time
3. Shane Hmiel
Shane Hmiel is the son of Steve Hmiel, a former NASCAR crew chief and current Competition Director for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. He competed in seven Sprint Cup races and 83 Nationwide races. During his career he failed three separate drug tests: One in 2003, one in 2005 and a third in 2006. Subsequently, he was banned for life by NASCAR. He attempted to restart his career in Sprint Cars, but suffered a catastrophic accident in Terre Haute, Indiana on October 9, 2010 that left him paralyzed.
4. Kevin Grubb
Kevin Grubb was a Nationwide Series driver that amassed 32 top tens in 174 starts over eight seasons. Grubb never won a race in Nationwide, but did make one attempt at a run at Sprint Cup competition. Grubb was suspended in 2004 for substance abuse violations, but later reinstated by NASCAR. He declined a second substance abuse test and was suspended again by NASCAR in 2006 after a hard crash. Grubb was found dead in a hotel room on May 6, 2009 with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
5. Randy LaJoie
Randy LaJoie is a former NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide) series champion, winning the title in 1996 and 1997. He has not driven since 2006, but was suspended in 2010 after he tested positive for banned substances. LaJoie admitted to smoking marijuana following the Coca-Cola 600 with some race fans, and was later reinstated by NASCAR following a treatment program.
6. Aaron Fike
Aaron Fike is a former NASCAR and USAC driver who is the younger driver ever to win a Silver Crown race and the younger brother of driver A.J. Fike. He was the 2001 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year and the 2002 and 2003 United States National Midget Driver of the Year. He ran 52 Nationwide Series races before being arrested in 2007. Fike and his girlfriend were arrested in the parking lot of the amusement park of King’s Island, and were charged with several drug related offenses. Fike later admitted to heroin and pain killer abuse, including using heroin on race day, and plead guilty to some drug related offenses. He was banned by NASCAR following his arrest.
7. Jack C. Smith
Jack C. Smith is a former Truck Series driver who was suspended by NASCAR twice. First, in 2010 he was suspended after being arrested for attempted to obtain a controlled substance under false pretenses. He was suspended again in November of 2011, and has not raced in NASCAR since.
8. Tyler Walker
Tyler Walker was the 2002 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, and a former Nationwide, Truck Series and sprint car driver who was suspended by NASCAR in 2007 follow six Truck Series starts with Bill Davis racing. He has since returned to racing Sprint Cars. He has supposedly been reinstated by NASCAR.
9. Brian Rose
Brian Rose competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for three years, including a stint with Bobby Hamilton Motorsports, before being suspended by NASCAR in 2003 for failing to take a drug test. He was arrested at some point in 2005 for possession of marijuana and a handgun. He was reinstated by NASCAR in 2010, and ran three Truck Series events.