DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Driver Shane Hmiel, suspended indefinitely by NASCAR on June 3 after failing a second substance abuse test, won’t return before 2007.

Hmiel, son of longtime crew chief and team official Steve Hmiel, was suspended through 2006 on Wednesday and faces an evaluation after next season before he’s allowed to return to racing.

He was first suspended in September 2003 after failing a substance abuse test. Hmiel completed a prescribed rehabilitation program and was reinstated for NASCAR competition in February 2004.

The 25-year-old driver was tested again after qualifying for a Busch Series race last month in Concord, N.C. He was permitted to race, but was suspended several days later after NASCAR received a positive result from the test.

NASCAR said it will lay out a road map for Hmiel’s possible reinstatement in 2007, including a rehabilitation program that will include medical and psychological reviews, as well as frequent testing.

NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy, based on “reasonable suspicion,” allows the sanctioning organization to broadly administer tests virtually anytime, anywhere.

Also, crew chiefs Tommy Baldwin and Jimmy Elledge have been fined for rules infractions discovered during prequalifying inspection last week at Michigan International Speedway.

Baldwin, crew chief for Kasey Kahne, was fined $10,000 for using an unapproved front air dam extension, while Elledge, crew chief for Casey Mears, was fined $1,000 for using unapproved body modifications after inspection.


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