NASCAR officials reinstated spotter Eddie D’Hondt on Friday, restoring his membership privileges.
D’Hondt was suspended by the sanctioning body May 26 after news of his recent arrest in Catawba County, N.C., came to light. In the reinstatement notice, NASCAR competition officials stated that D’Hondt’s “indefinite suspension has been lifted. He has been approved to return to all NASCAR racing activities effective June 18, 2021.”
D’Hondt has been the spotter for Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 9 Chevrolet team and driver Chase Elliott. He was a part of the effort that claimed the Cup Series championship in 2020.
In a statement, Hendrick Motorsports said: “We are pleased about the resolution of this matter and look forward to Eddie D’Hondt re-joining our team this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway.”
D’Hondt issued a statement earlier Friday indicating that charges against him had been dismissed. The statement read: “Mr. D’Hondt is very pleased with today’s announcement of dismissal. He is grateful that based on the diligent efforts of his defense team the District Attorney was able to process this case and ultimately decide it had no merit and the charges levied against him were totally unfounded. Mr. D’Hondt would like to personally thank all the people who have shown him and his family a tremendous amount of support and love. He is glad that justice has won the day and will consider any and all available legal remedies against his accuser. Mr. D’Hondt looks forward to resuming his lengthy career as one of the top spotters in NASCAR.”
NASCAR officials said last month that D’Hondt violated Sections 12.8.1.e (Member Conduct Guidelines) and 2.11 (Required Notice) in the NASCAR Rule Book.
Section 12.8.1.e states, in part, that member actions that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension, or termination, include: “Being charged with or convicted of significant criminal violations (e.g. Domestic Violence, Trafficking, Assault), or having had determinations rendered by criminal or civil authorities that in NASCAR’s judgment necessitate action. NASCAR will not pre-judge guilt or innocence in the criminal or civil legal system, or the guilt or innocence of the Member, but rather review each matter in its own context and circumstances and with regards to its potential effects upon the sport.”
Section 2.11 states: “Any NASCAR Member charged with any violation of the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR … prior to the next scheduled Event or within 72 hours of being so charged, whichever is earlier.”
Trey Poole filled in for D’Hondt during the suspension. Poole, Elliott’s cousin, had previous served as an additional spotter for the team at road-course events.
D’Hondt has been a spotter for Elliott since he joined the NASCAR Cup Series as a rookie in 2016, and has also worked with Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch on the Cup Series side. He has also served as a spotter in the Xfinity Series for the JR Motorsports No. 7 team and driver Justin Allgaier, and in the Camping World Truck Series for the Hattori Racing Enterprises No. 16 team and driver Austin Hill.
NASCAR officials also reinstated Kurt Butcher after he successfully completed the Road to Recovery program. Butcher, who was listed as the hauler driver for Sam Hunt Racing for six races at the start of the season, was suspended April 13 for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy.