People experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout their lives but I don’t know if there was something as drastic as this. Just days after winning his first career Xfinity Series race at Talladega, Xfinity Series driver Spencer Gallagher was revealed to have failed NASCAR’s substance abuse policy and will be suspended indefinitely.
After being told of the failed test, Gallagher complied and agreed to undergo NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program, which is a requirement for people to take before being reinstated. Gallagher released a statement claiming his “one-time error in judgement will never happen again.”
“I recently have had a positive result in a NASCAR drug screen which has violated NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. I want to assure everyone in the NASCAR community this one time error in judgement will never happen again. I am taking the steps to enroll in the Road to Recovery program supported by NASCAR. I would like to say that I am sorry to all of the GMS organization for my actions, especially my team and team owner, who have worked so hard this year and have put faith in me. I also want to apologize to NASCAR, Chevrolet and my fans for letting them down. I have not upheld the behavior that is expected of me. I promise you all here and know, I will do whatever it takes to make this right.”
Gallagher’s team, GMS Racing (which is owned by Spencer’s father) released their own statement.
“GMS Racing was notified that driver Spencer Gallagher gave a positive result from a NASCAR drug screen,” said Mike Beam, President of GMS Racing. “GMS fully supports NASCAR’s policy on substance abuse and we do not condone this type of behavior. First and foremost, our entire organization wants to apologize to NASCAR, our sponsors, teammates and fans due to this policy violation. Spencer has agreed to participate in NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program. A substitute driver will be announced at a later date.”
The actual substance that Gallagher supposedly failed has not been revealed but will likely be revealed at some point. In Victory Lane, Gallagher joked about partying with the team and many fans have seemingly added two and two together and think they cracked the code. It’s important to note that while the results were known Tuesday, the actual test was highly likely taken before the Talladega race just based on the turnaround time it takes for a drug test to be done.
As far as this weekend’s race in Dover is concerned, a substitute driver is going to be named at some point this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if their Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter pulls double-duty this weekend and jumps into the car. On top of being denied a waiver for the Playoffs, one thing this will do is invalidate Gallagher from the Dash for Cash program at Dover where the four highest point-eligible drivers from the past Dash for Cash race compete for $100k. That is an amount of money that can be a game changer for most of these Xfinity Series teams so while Gallagher is out, Ryan Sieg will take his place along with Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Brandon Jones.
And while the odds are stacked against Sieg and his team, just being in this will bring media and TV attention for his small team and if Sieg were to actually finish ahead of the other three drivers, that money would go a very long way.