St. Louis: Shane Hmiel preview

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 13, 2004) Shane Hmiel and the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports team need to rub the Buddha's belly to bring that team some good luck. Hmiel and the Chevrolet Silverado could have finished in the top-5 in a handful of NASCAR...

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 13, 2004) Shane Hmiel and the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports team need to rub the Buddha's belly to bring that team some good luck. Hmiel and the Chevrolet Silverado could have finished in the top-5 in a handful of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races but instead have found themselves on the outside looking in with 5 DNF's.

"If we'd had any luck it would be bad luck," Hmiel said. "We need to turn it around. Four or five of these races we should have at least a top five finish. We have a good team we shouldn't be having DNF's."

Hmiel's troubles were not driver ability or the quality of equipment he is driving. It's just seems to be a bag of silly misfortune. Hmiel drives a Chevrolet Silverado with Dale Earnhardt Inc. horsepower under the hood. He has run in the top-5 in just about every race in this season.

"We are running up front and none of these DNF's are because of the quality of the race truck I'm driving," Hmiel said. "We've gone from mechanical problems, to incidents from others on the track, to me clipping the wall while in the lead in Kansas and last weekend we had wheel break while we were running really good."

Hmiel in the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado climbed quickly into the 6th position at Kentucky Speedway this past weekend from his starting position of 16th when a fluke occurrence happened on lap 52. Hmiel's wheel broke in the center, sliding him into the wall causing damage to the front right side of the truck. The incident relegated Hmiel to the garage area with no chance to return.

"It felt good to get up front so quickly in Kentucky when the wheel broke," said Hmiel. "We had another rainout of qualifying and so I had to start according to points. "We have a truck that should finish in the top-5 every week," Hmiel said. "It's hard to keep hearing and saying when it's our day we'll win. Well I'm ready for that day with the No. 15 Chevrolet Silverado."

Hmiel and his Billy Ballew Motorsports team head to Gateway International Raceway. The St. Louis area track has been a good venue for Hmiel in the past.

"I'm looking forward to Gateway," Hmiel exclaimed. "I had a pole there in the Busch Series and a couple of top finishes. It's a track that I'm familiar with so we should be alright. As long as the track doesn't start with a K or the weather forecast doesn't include rain."

Shane Hmiel and the rest of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers will be in St. Louis at Gateway Speedway for the running of the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 Saturday night, July 17, 2004 at 8:00 PM EST. Practice and qualifying will take place Friday, July 16. Live television coverage will be on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will have live radio coverage.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Shane Hmiel