NASCAR on Thursday suspended veteran crew chief Todd Parrott indefinitely for violating the sanctioning body's substance-abuse policy.
NASCAR did not identify the substance at issue in Parrott's case.
The team said Sammy Johns, its vice president of operations and competition, would take over Parrott's crew-chief duties on an interim basis, starting with Sunday's race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Richard Petty Motorsports said it supported Parrott's suspension, and Johns said in a statement that "we are very disappointed."
Parrott, now in his 19th year in the Cup series, was the crew chief for Dale Jarrett when the driver won the 1996 Daytona 500 and, three years later, when Jarrett captured the series championship.
On Twitter, Almirola said:
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.— Aric Almirola (@aric_almirola) October 17, 2013