Shane Hmiel | Phxing
No matter how many setbacks you experience in life, continue to rise.
Former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel’s entire life has been about setbacks and comebacks. Almost a decade ago, Shane was one of the sports up-and-coming driver and appeared to be destined for a long and decorated career. Unfortunately, his personal life seemed hell-bent on destroying his professional one.
Shane had been smoking post since he was a teenager. The habit continued into his 20s and after failing two NASCAR sanctioned drug tests, switched to using cocaine because, as Shane put it, “you got it out of your system faster,” allowing him a better chance to pass random testing. ESPN cites that Shane used cocaine about 100 times – all while continuing to compete in major NASCAR races. After a bar fight in 2007, Shane knew he had to get clean. The driver checked himself into rehab that year, and after 103 days rehab has been 1,300 days sober.
Shane returned to the track determined to compete again and rebuild his reputation. But in 2010, Shane wrecked his car while qualifying for the USAC SUMAR Classic. The accident nearly killed Shane and left him paralyzed. Doctors told his family that he “died three times in ICU.” Shane refused to quit on life and continued to compete. Doctors warned the family that there was only a 10% chance he would ever walk or breathe on his own again. Shane has spent the last two years rehabbing and proving that a 10% chance is 9.99% more than he needs.
Now Shane will return to the racetrack this month. He has partnered with Accessible Racing and will enter a stock car at Rockingham Speedway to race. Shane is still competing to walk again but through the modified vehicle and use of his arms, he will be able to race around the track once again. It’s a testament to Shane’s determination and willingness to rise no matter how many times he falls. Just like a phoenix.