NASCAR driver suspended for substance abuse violation

Caesar Bacarella, DGM Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Caesar Bacarella, DGM Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Alpha Prime Racing co-owner and driver Caesar Bacarella has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for violating the substance abuse policy.

NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Caesar Bacarella has enrolled in the Road to Recovery program after being found to have committed a violation of Sections 12.1; 19, relating to the substance abuse policy, in the NASCAR Rule Book.

Bacarella, who has competed for DGM Racing part-time since the end of the 2018 season, recently announced a partnership with Martins Motorsports for the 2022 season.

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This partnership made him a co-owner of the team along with fellow driver Tommy Joe Martins, Craig Martins and Rodney Riessen.

Due to the partnership, the team name has changed to Alpha Prime Racing.

Following the news of Bacarella’s suspension, Alpha Prime Racing released the following statement, indicating that Bacarella unknowingly took a workout supplement banned by NASCAR, and it was this which resulted in him being found in violation of this policy.

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

The 45-year-old Parkland, Florida native has competed in the Xfinity Series since 2017, running in select races in each of the last five seasons. In total, he has competed in 21 races and posted an average finish of 28.8.

Before arriving at DGM Racing for the 2018 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway he competed in six races for B.J. McLeod Motorsports, two in 2017 and four in 2018.

He has a career-best finish of 12th place in the 2021 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. In 2021, he competed in five races and failed to qualify for a sixth, marking his first career failure to qualify for an event. The season opener was the only race he finished in 2020.

For the 33-race 2022 season, Bacarella has been confirmed for four races behind the wheel of the #44 Chevrolet. Other drivers confirmed to compete for the team throughout the year include Martins, Andy Lally, Rajah Caruth and Ryan Ellis.

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The season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, February 19 with the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway, a race in which Bacarella is currently slated to compete.