A.J. Allmendinger: I ‘would never knowingly take a prohibited drug’

NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger responded on Tuesday to a failed drug test that prevented him from racing in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona last Saturday.

“I fully respect NASCAR’s drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge,” Allmendinger’s statement says. “I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug.”

The Penske Racing driver failed a random test administered on June 29 at Kentucky Speedway and was notified about the development hours before last Saturday’s race. Drivers provide two tests and Allmendinger is asking for his “B” sample to be tested. If it comes back negative, his suspension could be lifted. That’s about the only way I’d lay off of him because his response doesn’t make a ton of sense.

How does one not “knowingly” take a prohibited drug? Did someone open up his mouth and stuff marijuana inside? Did they drop some cocaine down his nostrils? Maybe he should just read the LBS guide to denying drug usage to find his excuse. I recommend the Richard Gasquet approach.

Formula One driver Maria de Villota reportedly loses eye after crash

Formula One driver Maria de Villota lost her right eye after crashing into a parked truck during a test run at an airfield in England on Tuesday, according to her racing team.

The 32-year-old Spaniard was test driving an MR-01 car, the first time she was behind the wheel of the vehicle, in preparation for this week’s British Grand Prix. She was at the end of a straight-line test run at Duxford Airfield, north of London, when the car reportedly suddenly accelerated and crashed into the back of a transport truck. She was rushed to the hospital and treated for “severe head and facial injuries.”

“We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving and her family would like to thank the Neurological and Plastics surgical teams,” Marussia team principal John Booth said on Wednesday, according to CNN. “However, it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.”

She remains in “critical but stable condition,” according to Marussia, which signed de Villota as a test driver in March. The team has already launched an investigation into what led to the accident. De Villota, daughter of former F1 driver Emilio de Villota, is one of only two female drivers under contract by an F1 team.

Photo: Andreas Pranter/GEPA via US PRESSWIRE

Kurt Busch has heated exchange with another reporter, this time ESPN’s Marty Smith

Fresh off his week-long suspension for a separate run-in with a reporter, Kurt Busch was at it again at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday.

Busch had been advised by Sprint Cup team owner James Finch to refrain from speaking to reporters. However, after placing third in Saturday’s Nationwide race at the track, Busch by rule had to make a mandatory press conference appearance. That’s when Busch and ESPN’s Marty Smith had a tense exchange of words. Here’s ESPN.com:

As he waited to be interviewed, an MRN Radio pit reporter said on the live broadcast that Busch left the top-five area without interviewing.

Busch was told of the comment and replied, “That’s what everybody says, don’t they.”

Busch then left the room to cool off. Several reporters, including Smith, with a camera crew, followed. Busch then told Smith to come over with his camera. When Smith got there, Busch said he wasn’t doing interviews there, adding, “You ever hear of sarcasm?”

That led to a brief exchange during which Busch said, “You don’t know how long I’ve been working on this.”

Busch eventually returned to face the media, albeit with a terse attitude. “It was great to drive the car,” he said when asked how it felt to return from suspension. And then: “It was a great finish, all in all. The restart before the final one, I was on the inside and went from third to eighth, and then the restart on the final one, I went from eighth back up to third.”

Busch has a well-documented past of losing his temper. Maybe somebody should teach this guy how to take deep breaths.

Photo: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Driver cuts across infield to ram into other car, fistfight ensues (Video)

Have you ever been so pissed at another car in traffic that you wanted to forget about where you were headed and instead focus on just ramming into it bumper car style? Well that happened over the weekend.

At the 15th Annual 2 Hour Xtreme Winged Figure 8 Enduro at Sportsdrome Speedway in Clarksville, IN, last Saturday night, one driver cut across the track’s infield to ram into an opposing driver who apparently spun him before the race began. We don’t have a closeup of their fight, but it’s pretty obvious they threw down fisticuffs after exiting their respective high-performance vehicles.

We have no idea which driver won the fight, but just seeing the car cut across the infield was well worth the price of admission (or 53 seconds of video for those of us who had to relive it on the ‘net).

Big H/T to Off the Bench, Deadspin

Kurt Busch likens being knocked out of a race to ‘premature ejaculation’ (Video)

Kurt Busch is on a roll. At the rate he’s going, we hope he never stops. An already bad week got worse for Busch on Wednesday when he was unable to participate in the actual race of the annual Prelude to the Dream pay-per-view event. During a warmup heat for the dirt track race that raises money for charity, Busch was caught up in two incidents, and his car was damaged so much that he could not take part in the main event. After the heat, Busch expressed his disappointment in an extremely eloquent way.

“All four quarters of this car got messed up and it was over before it started,” Busch explained. “This is pay-per-view, right? I don’t want to cuss, but I want to say that was more like premature ejaculation right there.”

As you may have heard, Busch is suspended for this weekend’s race at Pocono because he blew up on a reporter after a Nationwide race last weekend. I’m sure the reporter at the Prelude to the Dream race was happy he got away with only having to listen to a lousy joke rather than being threatened.

Thanks to Deadspin for sharing the video

Kurt Busch to reporter: Probation stops me from beating the s*** out of you (Video)

During Saturday’s Nationwide race at Dover, Kurt Busch may have found himself a new nemesis in young driver Justin Allgaier. According to Busch, Allgaier thought Busch hit him to start the race and was trying to get back at him for it throughout the rest of the afternoon. The two exchanged words after the race before Busch went off on a Sporting News reporter for asking him about it.

As you can see from the clip above that Eye on NASCAR shared with us, Busch was not interested in discussing the day’s events with Sporting News’ Bob Pockrass after the race.

[Read more...]

Mike Conway goes airborne in scary crash with Will Power at Indy 500 (Video)

Saturday’s Indianapolis 500 wasn’t without a scary-looking wreck, as Mike Conway was sent flying into the air in an 80th-lap crash that included IndyCar points leader Will Power.

The accident came directly after Conway plowed through a member of his crew during a pit stop. The resulting damage on the car’s front wing went without repair, a detail that likely contributed to Conway losing control and spinning out on a subsequent turn.

Power, trailing directly behind Conway, couldn’t avoid Conway’s No. 14 when it became shrouded in a cloud of smoke and drifted helplessly toward the wall. Upon Power’s impact, Conway’s car was lifted into the air along the outside catch fence. The crash brought out the race’s second of eight caution flags. Both drivers later emerged from their cars unharmed but were KO’ed from the race.

Here’s the video. Also worth seeing is Helio Castroneves narrowly missing by the thinnest of hairs a bouncing tire at the 2:57 mark:

[Read more...]