Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Shane Hmiel Back In A Race Car Jan. 26

Hmiel runs The Rock Jan. 26
Shane Hmiel will climb back behind the wheel of a race car for the first time since his injury on Saturday, Jan. 26 when Accessible Racing visits the legendary Rockingham (NC) Speedway. 

Hmiel suffered critical head, back, and neck injuries in a USAC Silver Crown qualifying crash at the Terre Haute Action Track on October 9, 2010 that left him paralyzed. Doctors initially told his family that he had a 10-percent chance to live. He was not expected to walk or breathe on his own again, and was not supposed to move his fingers, arms, toes or feet. The former driver has defied all those predictions, however, regaining some function in all his extremities, while continuing to use a wheelchair.

Now, Hmiel has an opportunity to do something else few expected him to do; climbing back behind the wheel of a race car at Rockingham Speedway.
"I can't wait," said Hmiel this week. "I have had a lot of people in my corner pulling for me since I got injured, and without the support and prayers from my family, friends and fans, I wouldn't be where I am today on the road to recovery. Having this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of a racecar with Accessible Racing will allow me to show everyone their prayers haven't gone unanswered and that anything is possible.”
Accessible Racing has offered dozens of disabled persons – including many former members of the United States military – to experience the freedom, hope and inspiration of driving an actual race car, providing incentive for them to improve the quality of their lives and continue to reintegrate into society.  Hmiel is a prime example of what the program is all about; providing a road map to recovery for newly disabled persons to see, believe and achieve.  

“I think it is amazing what Accessible Racing stands for and what they do for our wounded veterans and physically disabled,” said Hmiel. “It is very important for me to continue to be an inspiration and give back to help people in my position. I hope this event at Rockingham serves that purpose and opens the eyes of other disabled people that they too can overcome their challenges."

Accessible Racing is the brainchild of Co-Founder and President Brian Hanaford, who himself was the victim of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a result of an automobile accident. After years of recovery and emotional distress, Hanaford used his family’s connections in stock car racing to obtain and modify a race car to assist the physically challenged.
"Seeing the look on disabled peoples’ faces when they took a ride in my racecar was a life changing experience for me,” he explained. “I want to continue sharing what has been a gift from God to me.”
The Accessible Racing Driving Experience provides an exciting and therapeutic experience that helps disabled individuals rediscover their capabilities, allowing individuals to experience the excitement of competition and the thrill of victory; preparing them to better face adversity and the challenges of living with a disability.
As part of the Jan. 26 Rockingham Speedway event, Hmiel, media members and other dignitaries will visit an area hospital to deliver the message that life does not end after a traumatic head or spinal injury. To help make this special event happen, visit http://tinyurl.com/cxq7wfy. Donations are being accepted now through January 26. To find out more about Accessible Racing please visit www.accessibleracing.com.


  1. When the Godfather speaks people listen Thanks Dave, Happy New Year!

  2. Anonymous1:48 PM

    That's just great giving Shane this ride. He's already in a good place,and this will send him over the top!!

  3. Anonymous2:27 PM

    That's a amazing story to start the new year

  4. Anonymous3:44 PM

    Shane's story is among the most inspiring in all of motorsports.
    Hope to read more about him, Dave. Happy New Year!

  5. Anonymous7:24 PM


  6. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Great story Dave! Hope to read a followup on Shane's drive soon! Happy New Year!

  7. great staff..nice to know that you are getting back on the road dude. i am sure you cant wait to finally drive a real car, if that time comes you can check out some great
    bestop accessories that will change your driving experience.

  8. It is fantastic to get back on the road after all those injuries. I am psyched about the idea of Accessible Racing. I have to tell my uncle about it, he is a major racing enthusiast and a disabled Vietnam veteran.