Caesar Bacarella Receives Indefinite Suspension

Caesar Bacarella

Getty NASCAR has indefinitely suspended Caesar Bacarella.

The sanctioning body has issued two massive penalties ahead of the 2022 Xfinity Series season. NASCAR has indefinitely suspended Alpha Prime Racing driver/co-owner Caesar Bacarella and issued a points penalty and fine to Mike Harmon Racing.

NASCAR announced the penalties on Monday, November 22. Bacarella’s suspension stems from a violation of Sections 12.1; 19, substance abuse policy. The sanctioning body did not provide any further details about the infraction. Harmon’s penalty stems from a violation of Section 5.1.a.c.d: Vehicle testing.

Bacarella competed in five Xfinity Series races during the 2021 season. He drove the No. 90 Chevrolet for DGM Racing at both trips to Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, as well as the race at Michigan International Speedway. His best finish was 12th in the season-opening race at Daytona.

Bacarella joined forces with Tommy Joe Martins to run Alpha Prime Racing for the 2022 season. He was set to make an undetermined number of starts in the No. 44 Chevrolet, but that plan will potentially change with the indefinite suspension.

Martins Issued a Statement About the Suspension

Martins, the co-owner and general manager of Alpha Prime Racing, responded to the suspension and provided some more information. He tweeted out a simple message on his personal account and also issued a formal statement through the team account.

“Caesar was notified by NASCAR earlier this month he had unknowingly taken a workout supplement on the banned substances list,” Martins said in the statement on November 22. “He has fully complied with NASCAR, already enrolled in the Road to Recovery program, and we fully expect him to be suiting up for Alpha Prime Racing at Daytona in February.”

Martins did not stop with the statements on Twitter. He also addressed the situation head-on by making a media appearance. He appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio after the penalty announcement and provided further information.

Martins explained during his appearance that the failed test took place at the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway. He reiterated that Bacarella taking the banned substance was “completely unintentional” and that the part-time driver focuses on his health and fitness. Martins also added that Bacarella is “embarrassed” by failing his first drug test as a NASCAR driver and that the team hopes to laugh about the situation at a later date.

According to Martins, the next step will be producing a clean drug test. If he can do this, he will be on the path to a return to the track. Martins said that the estimated timeline for a potential return would be mid-January, ahead of the 2022 season.

“Caesar is fully committed to this team, and he will do whatever it takes to get this all cleared up,” Martins said during his appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Mike Harmon Racing Violated NASCAR’s Testing Policy

The other penalty assessed on Monday, November 22, stems from a violation of Section 5.1.a.c.d: Vehicle testing in the NASCAR Rule Book. Harmon ran some test laps in the No. 74 Chevrolet Camaro and the No. 74 Dodge Challenger after the season came to an end.

Mike Harmon Racing posted photos on Instagram on November 15 that showed the rules violation. Two different versions of the No. 74 ran laps around Rockingham Speedway, which caught the sanctioning body’s attention and resulted in an L2 penalty.

NASCAR docked Mike Harmon Racing 75 owner points and 75 driver championship points for the 2022 season. NASCAR also fined crew chief Ryan Bell $50,000 and suspended him from the next six championship points events.

Barring a successful appeal, he will miss the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, as well as races at Auto Club Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix Raceway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Circuit of the Americas.

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Doug Mitchell
Doug Mitchell
8 months ago

So, Dodge is back in Nascar? Harmon ran some test laps in the No. 74 Chevrolet Camaro and the No. 74 Dodge Challenger after the season came to an end.

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