NASCAR: When can suspended driver, team owner return?

Cory Roper, Roper Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Cory Roper, Roper Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Cory Roper remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR after violating the sport’s Substance Abuse Policy. When will he be eligible to return?

Days after his team failed to qualify for the 2023 NASCAR Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Cory Roper was informed that he had been suspended indefinitely by the sanctioning body.

The Roper Racing team owner was cited as having violated Sections 4.1 & 10.1.A of the NASCAR rulebook, which relate to the sport’s Substance Abuse Policy.

While no specifics have been provided regarding what the infraction was, the suspension means that Roper must complete the Road to Recovery Program in order to return.

Fortunately for the 45-year-old Vernon, Texas native, he did not have any races planned for the 2023 season. In 2022, he withdrew from the team’s only appearance at Talladega Superspeedway in October, and for this year, the team signed Kaden Honeycutt to run the season’s first six races.

Despite Roper’s suspension, the Roper Racing organization remains allowed to compete in NASCAR Truck Series races.

After failing to qualify for the season opener, Honeycutt, who made his Truck Series debut last year with G2G Racing and also competed in select races for On Point Motorsports to close out the year, made his Roper Racing debut behind the wheel of the No. 04 Ford at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished in 25th place. He added a 33rd place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The 19-year-old Willow Park, Texas native is also set to compete in the upcoming races at Circuit of the Americas, Richmond Raceway, and Bristol Motor Speedway. The team do not have any announced plans for beyond the season’s sixth race.

As a driver, Roper has made 43 career starts in the Truck Series, all from 2018 to 2021. He owns a career-best finish of third place at Daytona International Speedway in 2021 and has two other top nine finishes to his name, including a sixth place effort at Talladega Superspeedway in 2021 and a ninth place effort at Texas Motor Speedway in 2019.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

Roper Racing have made just six starts without Roper behind the wheel of the No. 04 Ford. In addition to Honeycutt’s two starts earlier this season, Roger Reuse drove the No. 04 Chevrolet in one race in 2019, and Chase Briscoe drove the No. 04 Ford in three races in 2021.