Spencer Gallagher finds himself at an all-time low point quickly after his all-time high. After failing a random drug test, he will enter NASCAR’s rehab program.
“We are going to party like it’s 1999!”
He really meant that.
Right after winning his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Spencer Gallagher tested positive on a random drug test for an undisclosed substance. Whatever it was, it was bad enough to get him suspended indefinitely and he will not be granted a waiver for his missed races. This means that he is no longer playoff eligible.
This is a major blow to a driver who has been fighting the spoiled rich kid stereotype his whole career, and getting busted for substance abuse is not going to help. Spencer is the son of Maurice Gallagher, CEO of his sponsor Allegiant Airline and team owner of GMS Racing.
So while most drivers would be worried about losing sponsorship and possibly even their ride, I have a feeling Gallagher will be safe.
Gallagher issued this statement after the news, according to NASCAR.com:
"“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.”"
Enrolling in the Road to Recovery program generally takes about four weeks if you do it right. Gallagher being so upfront and apologetic is probably the only positive to take out of this situation.
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Gallagher’s personality is his most endearing trait and it would be a shame to see his reputation take a massive hit after something like this, but unfortunately, these types of actions in a conservative-based sport could be detrimental both short-term and long-term when it comes to his fanbase.
It’s really a letdown for any Spencer Gallagher fan since this season has been incredibly successful for him, especially compared to seasons past, and it looked like Gallagher’s talent was starting to shine through with five top 10 finishes and an average finish of 9.8 to go along with his Talladega win through the first nine races this season.
The talent that we had been hearing about for so long was finally starting to bloom.
GMS Racing announced that Johnny Sauter will take over the #23 Chevrolet this weekend at Dover, but no permanent driver has been named. More than likely we will see a mixture of GMS Racing talent like Justin Haley and Dalton Sargeant getting their shot in the car as well.
No matter what the substance in question was, I hope this was an isolated incident and not part of a larger problem for Gallagher that could be more trouble down the road. I hope lessons are learned from past abusers such as Jeremy Mayfield.