NASCAR has reinstated a driver after he was suspended following a misunderstanding during a traffic stop in the Hudson Valley.
Tyler Dippel, 19, a Gander Trucks Outdoors Truck Series driver was suspended for violating the NASCAR Member Conduct Guidelines for “actions detrimental to stock car racing” last week after he was arrested in Orange County for criminal possession of a controlled substance following a traffic stop in his hometown of Wallkill.
Dippel was stopped on Sunday, Aug. 18, when he was stopped with a passenger after changing lanes without a signal, police said. He had been leaving the Orange County Fair Speedway.
During a search of his vehicle, New York State Police troopers found prescription medication in a backpack in the backseat, which belonged to a friend, prompting his arrest.
Police noted that Dippel was also speeding, and when he was stopped, he was driving more than 80 mph.
This week, Dippel took to Facebook to announce that the charges were dropped in court in Wallkill on Wednesday, Aug. 28, and NASCAR proceeded to reinstate him.
“On August 18, while driving home from the Orange County Fair Speedway, I was pulled over for changing lanes without a proper signal. The trooper asked my passenger and myself if we had been using drugs and we responded with “no” – because we hadn’t, he posted. “The trooper continued to question us and then asked to search the vehicle, which I gave him my consent as I had nothing to hide. In the back of my truck was a friend’s backpack who was not with us containing his prescription medication.
“Because it was in my vehicle, I was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Upon my appearance ticket, I contacted NASCAR within hours to inform them of the situation. Due to the NASCAR rule book and code of conduct, they ruled to suspend me indefinitely. I respect their decision.”
Dippel is expected to return to the track at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a race on Friday, Sept. 13. The driver noted that the person whose prescription it actually was took responsibility for leaving them in his car.
“Early this morning, at the Town of Wallkill Court, the charges against me, in this case, were dismissed. We presented proof that the prescription was not mine and the person that the prescription belonged to accepted responsibility for leaving them in my vehicle.”
NASCAR Cup Series Champion Brad Keslowski chimed in on Twitter with his take on the situation.
"Ok. Now I’m officially alarmed. This is just... wow
"I can’t believe someone could be drug through the mud by social and traditional media and lose their livelihood over something so simple, insignificant and trivial."
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