NASCAR crew chiefs don’t often make headlines, but when they do, it’s typically for some sort of violation or suspension. The latter just so happened to be the case for Matt Borland, who is the crew chief of the No. 13 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Cup Series driver Ty Dillon.
Back in August 2019, the Germain Racing employee was indefinitely suspended for violating NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy. What’s the substance that triggered the violation? Well, according to Borland, a diet coffee drink that he had been drinking for six months apparently contains a banned substance, which he addressed in an official statement.
“This past weekend I was informed by a NASCAR doctor that I had DMAA (2-amino-5-methylhexanamine) in my system,” the statement read. “After the surprise of this and not even knowing what that was, I asked if it could have come from a diet coffee I have been drinking for the past six months. I gave the doctor all of the details of the coffee and ingredients, and after he researched it, he said he thought that this was the cause.”
“Even after doing my due-diligence, I felt comfortable in drinking the coffee. I plan to work with NASCAR to figure out what exactly has happened and resolve this issue as quickly as we can. I will cooperate with them and do whatever is requested of me to make this situation right. I have worked in the NASCAR garage for 20 years now, and have never been a part of anything like this in my life. I take full responsibility for this incident and want to get it taken care of completely.”
“I would like to sincerely apologize to my team, sponsors, associates, NASCAR and my family and I look forward to resolving this situation in an efficient manner.”
Speaking on behalf of Germain Racing, team owner Bob Germain Jr. back Borland with a statement of his own.
“Matt Borland has informed me that he was notified by NASCAR that a random urinalysis showed a substance, DMAA (2-amino-5-methylhexanamine) that is impermissible under the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy,” Germain said. “We reviewed the ingredients label on a coffee product that Matt had been drinking and it includes DMHA (2-amino-5-methylheptane), a derivative of DMAA.”
“Based upon the ingredients label we do not believe that Matt had reason to know that the coffee contained a banned substance. However, we also understand and respect NASCAR’s decisions to strictly uphold their policies for each and every owner, driver and crew member in the garage. As an organization, we stand behind Matt. He has been and remains an integral part of our race team and we look forward to his return to the garage and pit box.”
As a result of his failed drug test, Borland participated in NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program. Borland completed the program in late September 2019 and was reinstated as crew chief.
This post was originally published on August 26, 2019.