DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — AJ Allmendinger's life changed forever in the hours before last year's race at Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR officials suspended the driver for failing a random drug test, and he was headed home as his peers prepared for one of the biggest races of the year.
The episode sidelined Allmendinger for more than three months and ultimately cost him his job with Penske Racing. But it also spurred a great deal of introspection for Allmendinger, who returned to Daytona a year later a different person.
He headed into Saturday night's race happier than he's been in a long time and at peace with the twists and turns of his career.