The runner-up of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West last year is not competing in the series after what he said was an issue with his drug test.
Ryan Partridge, who had won four series races in the past two years, wrote on his Facebook page that an “inconclusive’’ drug test prevented him from obtaining a NASCAR license and competing in last weekend’s series opener in Tucson, Arizona.
This is the first year that competitors in the NASCAR Pro Series East and West, NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Pinty’s Series have been required to pass a drug test as part of the requirements for a NASCAR license. Competitors must renew their NASCAR license each year.
NASCAR stated to NBC Sports that the “necessary paperwork wasn’t received to issue a license” to Partridge.
Partridge stated what happened on his Facebook page:
“This last weekend was the season opener for the K&N Pro West Series at Tucson. There are quite a few requirements to allow one to race including drug test, physical, a pile of paperwork etc. The day before opening night in Tucson I learned that my drug test was inconclusive and they would not allow me to race without another. To clarify, I did not test positive for any banned substances.
“Let me give some insight to the testing process. You first call requesting a test kit, then they call back usually a day later needing information and specifics, then they send you (a) kit, once received, you make (an) appointment with a specified clinic, after (a) sample is given, they package it up and send it back east (sic) again, once they receive it’s a 3 to 4 day testing process, all in all totaling over a week.
“Learning about this on Friday made it impossible to obtain a license, not only for the first race, but most likely the first four, crushing our hopes for a championship or competitive season. I was devastated to say the least. Mostly for the investment and preparation Bob, Maureen and my team have sacrificed on my behalf.’’
The West Series races Thursday at Kern County Raceway Park and has twin races Saturday at Irwindale Speedway. Four of the series’ 14 races will be completed by this weekend.
Partridge went on to write on his Facebook page:
“Just when we think we have things figured out the lord (sic) changes our plans. It’s hard to understand sometimes because we don’t know what his plans are, but I truly feel that he wants me to use this to re-organize and re-prioritize my life.
“Since my father passed away a few years ago, I feel my life has been on hold. While my professional life has been fulfilling and successful, I don’t feel I have made any progress in my personal life and what I want to accomplish as an individual, not a racecar driver.
“It’s easy when we are in pain to use that pain to focus on something like racing and immerse ourselves in something we think is bigger and complex enough that we can get lost in. Racing is a relentless sport that always asks for more, and no matter how much I love racing, racing will never love me back.
“I am blown away at the love and support I have received these last few days from our racing community and family. In the midst of rumors and confusion, these people love, care and worry enough to reach out and make sure I’m doing ok. That is truly what racing is all about. The camaraderie and community of our racing family and friends. I’m not sure what the next step is for me, but I will definitely keep you all posted. Thanks everyone.’’