NASCAR means business with substance abuse policy Now rightfully referred to the most staunch substance abuse program in professional sports, NASCAR's team members Matthew Huffstetler and William Keith have been the latest to discover what happens when they arrive at a race track impaired due to the use of illegal narcotics. Both men are now under indefinite suspension following a March 9th announcement that said they were in violation of section 12-1, actions detrimental to stock car racing, and 12-19, violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy, of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. The violations were brought to NASCAR's attention back on March 5th.
Huffstetler is a crew member for the #01 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team fielded by the newly formed Daisy Ramirez Motorsports. It's already being widely regarded as a shame that a new team in the series is having to endure the backlash, that comes with this issue, due to the lack of judgment by one of its team members.
But it's the William Keith suspension that has really raised more than a few eyebrows. That's due to two major reasons: one, Keith is a spotter with a Sprint Cup team and, two, he had a direct connection to Jeremy Mayfield who became the first driver to be suspended for substance abuse violations by NASCAR's newly created, and harsher, policy in May of last year.
Keith was the spotter for Sprint Cup driver David Gilliland and the #38 Front Row Motorsports team. As we all know, a spotters are the second set of eyes for a race driver. It's their job to keep a driver informed on the presence of race traffic and when he's properly cleared to make a move on the track. In terms of severity, a spotter impaired due to narcotics is second only to an impaired driver behind the wheel of the race car.
An interesting side bar story to Keith is the Jeremy Mayfield connection . He's Mayfield's former brother in law. During the course of Mayfield's legal appeal of his suspension, which is still ongoing, it was Keith who cooperated with NASCAR's attorneys by participating in a formal deposition. During the course of that deposition Keith claimed that he had personally witnessed Mayfield using methamphetamine several times.
Once again, NASCAR is to be applauded for implementing a staunch, zero tolerance, policy against any and all substance abuse issues. It is an element that absolutely cannot be allowed to flourish within the sport. by Dave Grayson