Shane Hmiel Is Back to Racing

Nikki HechtCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2008

I was cruising the internet about a week or so ago and I stumbled across a link for an article.  The title of the link caught my eye. It read, "Shane Hmiel Mentioned in an Article, No Drugs or Aaron Fike Mentioned."  I clicked on the link and was brought to this website.

Shane is now racing in the USAC Division and I am very happy to see that. I Googled him to try and find some other articles about his racing and came across this very interesting article from Sports Illustrated.

Now, I have to say this. I am in no way saying that drug use is good, because I believe it's not. I was disappointed when Shane was suspended the second time.  I thought he'd been given a great second chance in life that not many people would get under normal circumstances.

But then after a few days I began to hope that Shane would get the help he needed.  I can't imagine how hard it was for his parents.  It's hard to watch someone you care about go through that.  

Shane was brought onto Dialed In not that long ago—I think it was a few months ago—and he talked about getting this third chance to get to do what he's always loved to do.  I was so excited to hear him, to hear how healthy and happy he sounded.  Then to actually see for myself that he's healthy and happy was great!

I've always thought Shane was a talented driver and it's good to see him still able to drive and still have (forgive the pun here) the drive to go out and compete and race hard.

Does he deserve a third chance at NASCAR? I don't know.  That's not for me to decide.  But does he get a third chance with me as a fan? You bet! He'll get a fourth and fifth chance from me if he needs it. 

There is something about him that reminds me of one of my very good friends.  He coincidentally had a drug problem as well. He was in an accident and became addicted to pain pills. That friend got a second chance from me and, if need be, he will get a third chance, too).

I found myself drawn to Shane because he reminded me of my friend.  Shane, with his attitude on the track, could have been my friend (had he been a NASCAR driver and not working a desk job.)

So with that I say, way to go Shane! Way to turn your life around, to take back your life! You'll have a fan in me for years to come.

And for those who have a drug problem or know someone with a drug problem, there is help out there and there is life after drugs.