Two months after he was indefinitely suspended for violating the substance abuse policy, Spencer Gallagher was reinstated Wednesday by NASCAR.
A notice posted to NASCAR’s media website at 2 p.m. on a national holiday announced that the GMS Racing driver had completed NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program that is necessary to be considered for reinstatement.
Gallagher had been suspended since May 2 when NASCAR announced the driver was found to have violated its substance abuse policy a day earlier, three days after he won at Talladega Superspeedway for the first Xfinity Series win of his career.
GMS Racing announced Gallagher will return to the No. 23 Chevrolet next weekend at Kentucky Speedway.
“The whole GMS organization is very proud of Spencer (Gallagher) for getting reinstated after completing NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program after the results we received post-Talladega,” GMS Racing president Mike Beam said in a release. “Spencer will return to the No. 23 at Kentucky Speedway and then again after our agreed contracts are fulfilled.”
Chase Elliott will be driving the No. 23 in Friday’s Coca-Cola 250 Xfinity race at Daytona.
Elliott, Johnny Sauter, Justin Haley and Alex Bowman have split driving the No. 23 in the six races since Gallagher was sidelined.
Despite his victory, Gallagher is ineligible for the Xfinity Series playoffs because he hasn’t attempted to start every race this season.
In announcing substance abuse violations, NASCAR doesn’t disclose details, and Gallagher hasn’t revealed what caused his positive test.
In his only public comments about the violation, Gallagher said in a May 2 statement that “I recently have had a positive result in a NASCAR drug screen which has violated NASCAR’s substance abuse policy.
“I want to assure everyone in the NASCAR community this one-time error in judgment will never happen again. … 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.”
Gallagher declined to comment to NBC Sports.com during a May 7 test at Charlotte Motor Speedway that he left after learning he wasn’t permitted to attend because of his suspension.