Today, Brownsburg, Indiana based Firestone Indy Lights Team Alliance Motorsports announced the signing of USAC driver Shane Hmiel. Hmiel will pilot the #24 Rotondo Weirich/Three Wide Life entry for the August 28th event at Chicagoland Speedway.
The 30-year-old Hmiel has four years of stock car experience including 29 Truck Series starts with a win at Las Vegas, 83 Nationwide starts and 7 in the Sprint Cup Series. But, by the age of 25, the North Carolina native had failed 3 drug tests from 2003 to 2006 and was banned for life from the stock car circuit.
After being diagnosed with bipolar, Hmiel spent 14 weeks in an Atlanta based drug treatment facility in July of 2007. Since, the young American has had an eye on the IZOD IndyCar Series (but is this former drug addict cut out for road racing, which requires far more talent?) and has bounced around various USAC divisions, gaining the honor of 'Rookie of the Year' at the 2009 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Passing regular drug tests, Hmiel most recently earned wins in the MOPAR Midget National Series, AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and a win at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in the Silver Crown Series.
“I am super excited to race for the guys at Alliance Motorsports, and I can’t wait to run a rear engine car in such a great series. I am surrounded by some great people at Alliance, and hopefully we can do well enough to excite our current sponsors, as well as attract future sponsors so that we can chase the championship next year.” - Shane Hmiel
“This is such a fantastic opportunity for us to be affiliated with someone as talented as Shane, and we look forward to building our relationship with him, along with the great people at Rotondo Weirich and Three Wide Life. At a high level of success, Shane has proven to be an exciting and versatile driver, and for us to be able to be associated with him in this phase of his career progression is a privilege. We believe that he will adapt quickly and will be competing towards the front of the field.” - Alliance Motorsports Co-Owner Jeff Matthews
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