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Aric Almirola’s crew chief Todd Parrott suspended by NASCAR

By Jim Utter
jutter@charlotteobserver.com

TALLADEGA, Ala. NASCAR’s random drug testing policy nabbed its first Sprint Cup Series crew chief on Thursday.

NASCAR announced Todd Parrott, crew chief for driver Aric Almirola at Richard Petty Motorsports, has been indefinitely suspended for violation of the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy.

“We have an expectation of all RPM employees to conduct themselves at the highest level of professionalism and within the competitive confines set forth by NASCAR,” Sammy Johns, RPM’s vice president of operations and competition, said in a statement.

“We are very disappointed that one of our employees did not meet our expectations and we completely support NASCAR, their policies and final decisions when it comes to the substance abuse policy.”

Parrott has indicated he will participate in NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program, and a team spokesman said RPM supports that decision.

Johns will serve as Almirola’s crew chief on the No. 43 Ford on an interim basis until further notice.

Parrott won the Cup series championship with driver Dale Jarrett in 1999 when both worked with Robert Yates Racing. He has 31 career wins.

This season, Almirola is a career-best 18th in the Cups series standings with one top-five and six top-10 finishes.

Soon after the announcement of Parrott’s suspension, Almirola posted the following message on his Twitter account:

“Todd Parrott is a good crew chief, a good person and a good friend. I’ll be a big cheerleader of his to get thru this difficult time.”

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