BUSCH: Shane Hmiel to race Fontana event

GIC Taps Shane Hmiel To Drive In Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Race in California MOORESVILLE, NC--GIC Motorsports announced today that Shane Hmiel will take the wheel for the No. 24 Quality Plus Services Chevrolet Monte Carlo for this week's...

GIC Taps Shane Hmiel To Drive In Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Race in California

MOORESVILLE, NC--GIC Motorsports announced today that Shane Hmiel will take the wheel for the No. 24 Quality Plus Services Chevrolet Monte Carlo for this week's NASCAR Busch Series race in Fontana, CA.

Hmiel will replace Mike Harmon for this week's race.

"We decided to make this change for Fontana," said GIC owner James Whitener. "Mike has been a great asset in the past, and he'll continue to be a great asset in the future," continued Whitener. "We're working to develop a successful multi-car program, which involves improving the equipment and developing additional drivers."

For Hmiel, it's a chance to get back into the NASCAR Busch Series after a 2003 season that ended abruptly after he had posted four top-5 finishes and 10 top-10 finishes in the first 26 races of the season. The 23-year-old native of Pleasant Garden, NC, was eighth in points when he was suspended following the September Richmond race for violating NASCAR's substance abuse program.

Since then, he's completed a substance abuse rehabilitation program, participated in random drug testing, and been reinstated by NASCAR. This year, Hmiel is 15th in points after three races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but Whitener is the first NASCAR Busch Series owner to offer him a ride since the suspension."

"It would be pretty bleak if young people didn't get a second chance," said Whitener. "Shane made some mistakes, but to his credit he has been a stand-up guy and has taken responsibility. He's done a lot of good work in the DARE program to help teach school kids to stay away from drugs. We'll take this one race at a time and hope that it works out for us and for Shane."

Harmon had an excellent run in Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway, running as high as 12th and staying on the lead lap until a cut tire took him out with nine laps remaining. Harmon is currently 38th in NASCAR driver points after competing in five of the eight races.

-gic-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Mike Harmon , Shane Hmiel