MOORESVILLE, NC (September 29, 2004) -Shane Hmiel's bid for two consecutive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins in the Billy Ballew Motorsports No. 15 Chevrolet were dashed when a cut tire send him hard into California Speedway's outside retaining...
MOORESVILLE, NC (September 29, 2004) -Shane Hmiel's bid for two consecutive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins in the Billy Ballew Motorsports No. 15 Chevrolet were dashed when a cut tire send him hard into California Speedway's outside retaining wall while leading on lap 56. The ensuing damage to Hmiel's Chevrolet relegated him to a disappointing 30th place finish in the American Wheels 200. Hmiel qualified fifth , however he was advanced to the third starting position when pole winner Travis Kvapil and second place starter Mike Skinner were sent to the rear of the field. By lap 3, Hmiel took the point position by passing rookie David Reutimann for the lead.
"The truck was awesome tonight," Hmiel said. "Ted (Musgrave) was coming on strong but I think with one more adjustment we would have won the race. We went backwards on the pit stop and needed to reverse it on the next stop. I couldn't figure out if I was tight or loose at times, the rear end was a bit twitchy, so we adjusted for that but it made things worse. We were better off where we were at the beginning and crew chief Ritchie Wauters and the guys were prepared to get us back on to where we needed to be."
Hmiel, who led at the halfway mark, looked as if he was headed towards giving a back-to-back command performance of his win from the previous weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hmiel's luck ran out when he suffered a cut to the right front tire heading into turn one ending his day and chances of a victory.
"Its tough to have this happen tonight," Hmiel said. "I never felt or smelled anything that would show that the tire was going down. It is just like the Cup race here a month ago. There is a lot of trash blowing around. I probably ran over something. I had stuff flying all over my grill. I wish they'd clean this place up. I could only imagine what it was like further back. Its been great racing the Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet out west but I sure am looking forward to getting home to North Carolina."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors will be off until October 16th when they will run the Silverado 350 K at Texas Motor Speedway. Hmiel won't be taking a vacation during the Truck Series hiatus. He is slated to run in the No. 23 Bill Davis NASCAR Nextel Cup car at Kansas Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 10th.