It seems like it was just a few years ago that Shane Hmiel had a promising NASCAR career ahead of him. But after taking on the competition in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, the racing career of the son of veteran crew chief Steve Hmiel was brought to a grinding halt by a drug problem.
Hmiel cleaned up his act, though, and got back into racing. But an even bigger battle was ahead of the young driver. Hmiel was trying his hand at USAC racing in 2010 when a racing incident in October of that year left him clinging to life with doctors giving him little chance of survival.
But Hmiel did survive, and time and time again, he accomplished things his doctors told him he wouldn’t — things like breathing on his own, moving his arms and fingers and walking. Another thing most had given up on seeing Hmiel ever do again was racing. But once again, Hmiel is out to prove them wrong.
According to a release sent out by Rockingham Speedway on Thursday, Hmiel is going again at the North Carolina short track later this month with assistance from Accessible Racing.
“I can’t wait for this event at Rockingham Speedway,” Hmiel said. “I have had a lot of people in my corner, pulling for me since I got injured, and without all my family, friends and fans’ support and prayers, I wouldn’t be where I am today on my road to recovery.”
Accessible Racing was co-founded by Brian Hanaford with an aim to create racing opportunities for disabled individuals. Hanaford grew up in a racing family, and after suffering a brain injury himself, decided to build race cars for the disabled.
“Seeing the look on other disabled peoples’ faces when they took a ride in my race car was a life-changing experience for me,” Hanaford said. “Improving somebody’s quality of life in this way is more fulfilling than any self-help book or organization I learned of in 30 years. I want to continue sharing with others what has been a gift from God to me.”
To learn more about Accessible Racing or how you can help through contributions, etc., visit accessibleracing.com.
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