30 Oct NASCAR Driver Allmendinger Arrested on DUI Charge
NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger was arrested early Thursday on a charge of drunken driving in Mooresville, North Carolina.
Mooresville police said Allmendinger failed a field sobriety test after he was pulled over.
Allmendinger, who drives the No. 44 for Richard Petty Motorsports, said in a statement he had drinks with dinner and made a mistake by driving afterward.
"I honestly felt fine, but I obviously should have erred more on the side of caution, particularly given what I do for a living," Allmendinger said. "It was a bad judgment call and I apologize for that."
RPM officials also released a statement.
"I am deeply disappointed this has happened," team co-owner Richard Petty said. "AJ has accepted full responsibility for his actions and will work to make this right. On behalf of everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports we sincerely apologize to our fans and partners."
Allmendinger is a major factor in RPM’s long-range plans, and team officials told the Associated Press that Allmendinger was going to be moved into Petty’s famed No. 43 next season. Best Buy is expected to sponsor the car.
It’s not clear how his arrest may affect that relationship. Petty routinely shunned alcohol sponsorship, and refused to allow his teams to participate in NASCAR’s second-tier series when it was sponsored by Busch.
"If anything good can come of this, then hopefully I can be an example of being more aware of drinking responsibly and if even if you feel fine, take a cab, call a friend," Allmendinger said. "Just don’t risk it. I will do my best to make it right and use this to learn myself and hopefully educate others."
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