Spencer Gallagher was on top of the world Saturday, and on top of his No. 23 Camaro, being doused with sports drink by his crew after winning his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
On Wednesday, the 28-year-old Las Vegan was suspended from NASCAR for violating its substance abuse policy.
“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. “I want to assure everyone in the NASCAR community this one-time error in judgment will never happen again.”
Gallagher said he has agreed to participate in NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program. He will not be eligible to return to the track until completing the program.
“I would like to say that I am sorry to all of the GMS organization for my actions, especially my team and team owner (father Maury Gallagher), who have worked so hard this year and have put faith in me,” Gallagher said in the statement. “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.”
Gallagher made a bold last-lap pass to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. It was his first victory in 49 Xfinity starts, bumping him to seventh in season points and assuring him a spot in the Xfinity playoffs at season’s end.
Now it’s all gone.
Should Gallagher be reinstated this season, NASCAR said he would not receive a playoff waiver.
GMS Racing president Mike Beam also issued a statement: “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.”
Beam said a substitute driver will be announced at a later date.
In addition to his 49 starts in Xfinity, Gallagher has 59 starts in NASCAR’s Truck Series. He has five top finishes and 22 top 10s in the combined series.
Last year there were reports that GMS was considering moving up to the Cup Series with Gallagher as one of the drivers, which he recently said remained his and the team’s goal.