Kentucky: Shane Hmiel preview

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 7, 2004) -- One thoroughbred has already traveled to Kentucky wearing the Number 15. That thoroughbred, Smarty Jones found his way to the winners circle in the prestigious Kentucky Derby. Now Shane Hmiel desperately wants to...

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 7, 2004) -- One thoroughbred has already traveled to Kentucky wearing the Number 15. That thoroughbred, Smarty Jones found his way to the winners circle in the prestigious Kentucky Derby. Now Shane Hmiel desperately wants to break into the win column this weekend at Kentucky Speedway in the Built Ford Tough 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. Hmiel has come tantalizingly close to a win several times this season in the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado but mechanical woes or on track incidents have prevented the team from celebrating in Victory Lane.

"I'm ready for a win, it's so close the team and I can taste it," Hmiel continued to say. "I thought I had it in Kansas last week while I was in the lead but the truck went up too high on the track and I got into the marbles and brushed the wall."

This would be Hmiel's first win in a major NASCAR Touring Series. In 2002 and 2003 Hmiel competed in the NASCAR Busch Series and put together an impressive record, posting 6 top-5 finishes, 12 top-10 finishes and earning four Bud Pole awards. Two weeks ago at Milwaukee, Hmiel subbed for Kasey Kahne in the No. 38 Great Clips NASCAR Busch Series car and finished in the fourth position.

"Running at tracks I've run in the Busch Series has helped," Hmiel explained. "It did take a little bit of getting used to driving a race truck. I'm much more comfortable in it."

Hmiel credits team owner Billy Ballew, crew chief Ritchie Wauters and the rest of the team for his success this season.

"I like the feeling of walking to my race truck every week knowing that I have the ability with the equipment they have provided me to win each and every one of these races," Hmiel continued to sing his teams praises. "I don't know too many other teams without a primary sponsor that are running this well. I have to give credit to Billy for putting this team together. We have formed a bond between all of us and it shows in our performance."

Shane Hmiel, driver the No. 15 Spondivits Restaurant Chevrolet Silverado and the rest of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors battle for the win in the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday July 10th. The race will be broadcast live nationally on the Speed Channel, XM Satellite Radio and MRN Radio at 8:00pm ET. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series practice and qualifying events are slated for Friday July 9th.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Shane Hmiel , Kasey Kahne