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Hmiel disciplined for substance abuse

Sept. 19, 2003 at 2:09 AM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Busch Series driver Shane Hmiel has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and released by Innovative Motorsports Inc. because of apparent substance abuse.

He will remain suspended until he meets terms and conditions set by NASCAR for future reinstatement. After violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy, the 23-year-old is required to attend counseling and undergo periodic random testing.

"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."

To emphasize the critical importance of a substance-free sport, NASCAR created its substance abuse policy in 1988.

Hmiel is eighth in the Busch Series standings. He had four top-five finishes in 26 starts this season for Innovative Motorsports.

"We certainly do not condone this type of behavior, and we fully support NASCAR in its decision," said team owner George deBidart.

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