Sprint Cup Crew Member Suspended

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IFebruary 19, 2009

NASCAR announced today that a crew member for the No. 66 Toyota, which will be driven by Dave Blaney for the rest of the season, has been suspended indefinitely for failing a drug test.

NASCAR deemed that Paul Chodora "was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 7-5 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book."

In January NASCAR said that all drivers from all three of their top series had passed their randomly administered drug tests that NASCAR officials implemented this season. 

But they did say that some crew members had failed, however those crew members would be the responsibility of their respective organizations.

Kevin Harvick, who has repeatedly praised NASCAR for taking action, immediately released crew members from his Camping World Truck Series team after they tested positive.

Then both Michael Waltrip and Ryan Newman admitted that some of their team members that tested positive but where then cleared after follow-up tests.

Chodora's suspension is the first that we've heard of.

"Looking at some of the over-the-wall guys, I have some concerns about these situations and the possibility of performance-enhancement," Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski said.

Chad Avrit, a rear tire changer with Team Red Bull, says that he understands why some crew members could be under suspicion "I think it's partly because of the way we recruit crewmembers (from the athletic ranks)," Arvit said. "We've been joking that we'd be suspected just because we're bigger than the drivers. A lot of the crew guys come from football or hockey backgrounds."

NASCAR has been under emmence scurinty when former Truck Series driver Aaron Fike admitted that he participated in a race while he was high on heroin. Then three time Truck Series Champion Ron Hornaday admitted to using testosterone cream.

Hornaday was not punished from NASCAR after revealing that his use was for a medical reason.

At least two drivers from each series could be randomly tested on any given race weekend and each organization must submit lists of all crew members that pass their drug tests in order to be licensed to work on the race cars.

Sources: NASCAR.com, Scenedaily.com, USAToday.com