The National Association of Stock Car Racing announced that Busch series driver Shane Hmiel has been indefinitely suspended from participating in any of the sanctioning bodies events. The official press release indicated the following ...
The National Association of Stock Car Racing announced that Busch series driver Shane Hmiel has been indefinitely suspended from participating in any of the sanctioning bodies events.
The official press release indicated the following infractions.
"Pursuant to sections 12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; and 12-4-E: Violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy as set forth in the 2003 NASCAR rule book."
Hmeil who was eighth in the championship points race received a random drug test following the September 5. 2003 event at the Richmond International Raceway. The subsequent suspension was announced prior to the series event at Dover.
Hmeil, son of former crew chief and Dale Earnhardt Incorporated employee Steve Hmeil was competing in his second season in the series and currently driving the No. Forty-eight entry owned by George deBidart and Innovative Motorsports.
Following the notice of suspension, Innovative Motorsports released the twenty-three year old driver.
"First and foremost, our entire organization wants to apologize to our sponsors, NASCAR, each of the NASCAR competitors, and our fans due to the recent developments surrounding this situation," said IMI team owner George deBidart. "We certainly do not condone this type of behavior, and we fully support NASCAR in its decision".
deBidart further announced that his organization was reviewing it's own in-house substance abuse policy. 2001 series champion Jeff Green will take over the ride for the Dover event, but no further indication of driver selection has been made.
"NASCAR has a zero tolerance for any type of behavior in violation of our Substance Abuse Policy," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "While our primary responsibility is the safety of our drivers and our fans, we also have a moral responsibility to protect the integrity of our sport."
NASCARS Vice President of Communication Jim Hunter indicated that NASCAR would monitor compliance with treatment including future drug screens before giving any consideration to the lifting of the suspension.
Hmeil released a statement through NASCAR.com apologizing to his fans, NASCAR and his team.
Earlier this year, NASCAR suspended Craftsman Truck Series driver Brian Rose for similar infractions.