Nationwide Series crew member Ryan Hess suspended for second time in 10 months

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Nationwide Series crew member Ryan Hess has been suspended by NASCAR  for the second time in 10 months for failing a random drug test, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

In a brief statement, NASCAR said:

“Ryan Hess, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy.

“On June 14, Hess was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.”

Hess was first suspended last August 22 for failing a random drug test. He successfully completed NASCAR’s recovery program and was reinstated on December 5. At the time of the first suspension, Hess had been working as a mechanic on the MacDonald Motorsports car driven by Jason Bowles.

NASCAR did not announce which team Hess had been working with this season. With this second failed drug test, it’s uncertain whether he’ll have another opportunity to go through the sanctioning body’s “Road to Recovery” program again.

Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

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