The United States Auto Club (USAC) has named former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel as the Grand Marshal for the inaugural Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL event, July 22-23, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I’m pumped that USAC invited me to be a part of the TORC Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and to be named the Grand Marshal at the first-ever off-road truck race in Charlotte is pretty special,” said Hmiel. “I’ve seen the TORC Series trucks run before and can honestly say the fans in North Carolina are going to be blown away by this.

“I’d have come out to watch the race anyway. Now it looks like I’ll have the best seat in the house!”

Hmiel, who successfully competed in NASCAR’s top-tier series as well as USAC’s three open wheel series, had his career cut short after a racing accident resulted in a serious spinal cord injury, confining him to a wheel chair.

Hmiel’s USAC career honors include the Rookie of the Year award at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals and USAC’s Most Improved Driver award, both received in 2009. In 2010, despite his accident, Hmiel accumulated enough points to be named USAC’s National Sprint Car Series Pavement Champion.

“Shane Hmiel provided a lot of excitement for a lot of motorsports fans and USAC is pleased to honor him the weekend of July 22 and 23 in Charlotte,” said Kevin Miller, president of USAC. “TORC Series competitors and fans alike will reach out to Shane at Charlotte and let him know he’s still a big part of the racing community.”

Since his accident, Hmiel has transitioned from racer to television commentator with the nationally syndicated motorsports show “3 Wide Life.”

The TORC Off-Road Series presented by AMSOIL makes its debut at The Dirt Track at Charlotte with spectacular off-road racing July 22-23. Spectator gates open at 3 p.m. and qualifying begins at 4 p.m. with opening ceremonies for the main event at 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under.

For tickets to the Traxxas TORC Series event, contact Charlotte Motor Speedway at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.