NASCAR President Mike Helton says he intends to keep details about positive drug tests private.
Speaking shortly before Nationwide Series drivers began practice on Indianapolis’ historic 2.5-mile oval, Helton said he sees no reason to change the organization’s long-standing non-disclosure policy.
Questions about transparency have arisen since both urine samples from A.J. Allmendinger tested positive for what business manager Tara Ragan says was an amphetamine. Allmendinger has been suspended indefinitely and insists he does not know what caused the positive tests. NASCAR has provided no details about the positive tests.
Citing federal privacy provisions, Helton says NASCAR will continue to let those who test positive decide whether to disclose additional information.
NEW LOOK POSSIBLE: NASCAR qualifying could have a very different look next season.
Series officials are mulling the elimination of the top-35 rule to put the focus back on speed.
Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said Thursday he’s already discussed the possibility with some teams and that fans want to see the fastest cars start the race. Since 2005, the top 35 in points have been guaranteed provisional starting spots at the next race, which has sometimes eliminated faster cars from starting the race.
All that could change in 2013.
“The top 35 was a good rule when we had impound races and that stuff,” Pemberton said. “But I think there’s a lot of folks that like that speed gets you in.”
The rule was designed to make sure full-time teams with big-name drivers and sponsors don’t miss the race.
PACE CAR: Chevrolet will use a new Corvette as this year’s pace car for the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard.
The Corvette ZO6 will be driven by Hollywood’s Ron Howard and will top out at 198 mph. Camaros will be used as pace cars for this weekend’s other races in Indianapolis – the Grand Am and Nationwide.
Those cars will have top speeds of 184 mph and 155 mph.