“Don’t Think This Is a Good Look” – Fans Left Fuming as NASCAR Reinstates Suspended Driver Ahead of the Martinsville Race

Published 10/25/2023, 7:19 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Over the years, NASCAR has only gotten stricter with its rules, and rightly so. As a governing body, it is of paramount importance to ensure strong disciplinary actions against offendable actions. While NASCAR’s consistency with penalizing has been questionable, it has once again come under the spotlight as they bring back a suspended driver.

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Safe to say that the sanctioning body hasn’t been afraid to take a strong stance against social issues. In order to avoid sending any wrong messages to the fanbase, NASCAR has been proactive in penalizing drivers guilty of such behavior. However, its recent act has certainly raised question marks on their intent.

NASCAR reinstates suspended driver ahead of the race at Martinsville Speedway


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The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series has already witnessed plenty of suspensions this campaign. While there have been different reasons for them, one of the most shocking ones involved Noah Gragson. The Cup Series driver was indefinitely suspended in August for liking a racially insensitive social media post on the death of George Floyd.

In simple terms, NASCAR has a very strict policy when it comes to matters like these. And rightly so, given the sport’s popularity and how fans heavily look up to their favorite drivers to set the right example. Having said that, the governing body made a very surprising decision recently.


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Xfinity Series and Craftsman Truck Series driver Chris Hacker was suspended in August earlier this year. He was arrested after being found guilty of driving while intoxicated. While his suspension was indefinite back then, NASCAR reinstated the driver on October 25.

After completing the Road to Recovery program, the sanctioning body has allowed Hacker to return to racing. He will be seen on the track at Martinsville Speedway in the Xfinity Series driving the #35 car for Emerling-Gase Motorsports.


Hacker has four Craftsman Truck Series and two Xfinity starts to his name this season. Given his arrest in August earlier this year, not many expected him to be back this early. However, NASCAR thought otherwise after Hacker put in efforts to stay sober during his suspension tenure.

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While it is good news for the Indiana native driver, the fans haven’t been quite amused with this decision.

Chris Hacker’s reinstation leaves racing fandom unhappy ahead of the race at Martinsville Speedway

Due to a DWI arrest, Chris Hacker was found guilty of violating section 4.4 D of the NASCAR Rule Book in August 2023. As per TobyChristie.com, Hacker had no hopes of reviving his racing career after the incident. He said, “Honestly, when my situation happened, right away I kind of accepted the fact that I probably would never be a race car driver again.”


Luckily for him, NASCAR gave him a second chance. It is worth noting that this isn’t the first time Hacker was guilty of being charged with DWI. In June 2017, he faced a similar charge and was sentenced to a year of probation. Naturally, seeing him reinstated left the fans furious with the decision. They expressed it quite openly on social media.

“I don’t think this is a good look for NASCAR. His charges are still pending ffs. He could’ve killed someone and they’re going to let him back behind the wheel are a race car. I don’t agree with this decision.”

“I like the kid, but DWI is one of the worst things a race car driver could do. I’d have him sit out the season and reinstate for ’24”


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“So your telling me the case is still pending but this guys still gets to race”

“Sorry I don’t have any sympathy for people who drive under the influence. Props for sobriety and I hope it sticks. It’s a daily struggle.”

“Dude probably got his nascar lisence reinstated before his reg drivers’ lisence”


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It is difficult to understand NASCAR’s decision in this case. All said and done, it would be interesting to see how Hacker bounces back during the weekend, after serving his suspension.

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Written by:

Priyank Mithani


One take at a time

Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports with a passion for motorsports that began in his childhood. Over the years, he has been following the sport meticulously, and his insights are highly respected within the NASCAR community. His work has been featured on several reputable websites, and his insights have been sought after by fellow journalists and fans alike.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath




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