Spencer Gallagher Goes from NASCAR High to Low in Matter of Days
After leading his first lap at Talladega and winning his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Spencer Gallagher is suspended.
A NASCAR feel-good story turned dark in a matter of days Wednesday when Xfinity Series driver Spencer Gallagher was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR competition for violation of the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. Gallagher led his first lap in 49-career Xfinity Series races April 28 in the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway, leading to his first-career series win. Reports broke of his abuse after a failed drug test on May 1.
Gallagher has agreed to participate in NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” program. Upon successful completion, Gallagher is expected to be reinstated.
“I recently have had a positive result in a NASCAR drug screen, which has violated NASCAR’s substance abuse policy,” Gallagher said in a statement released by his GMS Racing team Wednesday. “I want to assure everyone in the NASCAR community this one time error in judgment 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 now, I will do whatever it takes to make this right.”
GMS Racing will announce a substitute driver for its No. 23 Chevrolet for the May 5 race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware later this week. As an Xfinity Series regular, Gallagher’s win at Talladega made him eligible for the fourth and final $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus to be contended at Dover, joining other top-five Talladega race finishers Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, and Elliott Sadler. NASCAR has replaced Gallagher with Ryan Sieg as the fourth driver to vie for the bonus at Dover. Sieg finished sixth at Talladega.
According to a report from the Trading Point show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Wednesday morning, a NASCAR spokesperson has confirmed that Gallagher will not receive a waiver that would possibly allow him to compete in the postseason playoffs, despite missing races. The No. 23 team, though, could still race for the Xfinity Series team owner championship.
"GMS fully supports NASCAR's policy on substance abuse and we do not condone this type of behavior,” read a statement from GMS President Mike Beam. "First and foremost, our entire organization wants to apologize to NASCAR, our sponsors, teammates, and fans due to this policy violation."