Twists & Turns on the Road to Recovery

Shane Hmiel—known as one of NASCAR’s most disgraced drivers. After a series of erratic driving related incidents and three failed drug tests, NASCAR said goodbye (for good) to driver Shane Hmiel in 2006.

Hmiel’s most infamous incident occurred in April 2005, when he pushed 12th-place racer, Dale Jerrett, turned him sideways and continued to accelerate. After Jarrett’s vehicle came to a halt, he walked over to Hmiel only to receive an ever so nonchalant middle-finger gesture.

With his career over in 2006, he could do like most other suspended NASCAR drivers did, but rather than drop out of site, repeatedly turn to abusive substances or commit suicide, Hmiel focused on getting sober and turning his life around.

He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed the right kind of medication to help keep him balanced.  He was on the right track back into racing—racing in three US Auto Club Series races and preparing to move in to the Indy Lights series, then possibly IndyCar.

Unfortunately, life had a different track in mind. Last weekend at the Terra /Haute Action Track in Indiana,  Hmiel’s car flipped sideways and the roll cage was smashed directly into a concrete wall. Stunningly, Hmiel survived—unconscious with a broken neck and back. So far, there are no signs of paralysis.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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