Thursday, March 12, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

NASCAR has indefinitely suspended another crew member who was in violation of the substance abuse policy. This is the second time in as many months that a crew member has been suspended. NASCAR officials say the findings confirm the integrity of the sport and its zero tolerance policy.

Ramsey Poston, NASCAR spokesman, said on Wednesday “We made a good program even better, and what it shows is everyone is going to be tested. And it removes all doubts that the competitors at the track are clean.”

John Boyd, crew member of the 23 Nationwide Series team, will now join Paul Chodora, a former Sprint Cup Series crew member, as the first two people to test positive under the new and improved policy.

Both crew guys were apart of the mandatory testing for all drivers, crews, and officials during the season opening Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway last month. However, Poston said Boyd’s drug test results weren’t confirmed until this week.

Under the new NASCAR policy everyone is required to take part in the massive preseason drug test and then a series of random tests will be held during the each race weekend. Names of the ones participating in the weekly tests will be generated by a computer system. So far, no one has been found in violation of the random tests.

Before this new policy, NASCAR would test based on a reasonable suspicion with no formal format. However, last year when Aaron Fike(a former Camping World Truck Series driver) was arrested and told NASCAR that he had competed in a 2007 race while under the influence of heroin. This raised a few eyebrows and got some of the biggest names in the sport to take a stand. Kevin Harvick, who owned the truck Aaron drove that race, was shocked. He had no clue and was really embarrassed.

Seven drivers have been suspended since 2000, but only four were found through the previous random testing policy.

“When you put it into perspective and look at the thousands of people we’ve tested, this confirms that the sport is extremely clean in terms of substance abuse and we’re very proud of if. This is a very small percentage.”

This brings me to my question:
With NASCAR having the new policy, how many more do you think will be suspended this '09 season? Certain drugs stay in your system for a while. However, do you think with the suspension of 2 crew members already, have the other guys been scared and will straighten up?