Hmiel Still Eyeing First Major NASCAR Touring Series Win MOORESVILLE, NC -(June 26, 2004) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver Shane Hmiel went to Milwaukee hoping to keep the momentum going after the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports second...
Hmiel Still Eyeing First Major NASCAR Touring Series Win
MOORESVILLE, NC -(June 26, 2004) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver Shane Hmiel went to Milwaukee hoping to keep the momentum going after the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports second place finish at Memphis Motorsports Park the week prior. Hmiel was poised to bring home a 3rd place finish when he was spun in the final laps of the Black Cat Fireworks 200 at The Milwaukee Mile on Friday night.
"I am really disappointed for the team. They have worked really hard and we had such momentum going," Hmiel explained. "I don't know what happened out there. I thought I passed him clean (Travis Kvapil, No. 24) but I don't know, we ended up making contact and I spun."
Hmiel, who started fifth, continued to run in the top-five during the race, posting times faster than the leaders, but pit stop difficulties kept him from capitalizing on his truck's stout performance.
"We need to get a little better in the pits," Hmiel said. "We had been running really tight and it was important to get the needed adjustments and get back out quickly without losing track position."
Hmiel pulling in too close to pit wall made it difficult for the No. 15 crew to do their job, causing two frustrating stops. With Hmiel's talent, the adjustments from the crew and the DEI horsepower under the hood, he had the No. 15 NASCAR Craftsman Truck quickly back up to the fourth position, which he maintained the majority of the race.
Posting some of the fastest times on The Milwaukee Mile, Hmiel raced his way up to the third position until eventual winner Ted Musgrave passed him on the inside on his way to the front of the field.
With only 14 laps remaining, the No. 15 Chevy Silverado was battling with Travis Kvapil's No. 24 for third position. After several laps of intense racing, Hmiel moved past Kvapil. While Hmiel was defending third place with one lap to go when an anxious Kvapil collided with Hmiel's left rear, spinning him in turn two and bringing out the caution flag. Hmiel quickly recovered and pitted, putting on four tires and restarted 18th. Hmiel ended The Black Cat 200 under green/white/checker conditions and finished in the 12th position.
"It is just NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing," Hmiel said after the race. "I know once I get a win, the victories will continue. We have a fast Silverado week in and week out and I owe it to the guys. Our team has really bonded and I want to score my first ever NASCAR victory with them. I just hate it for Billy Ballew, who's been running the team without a major sponsor. But I do want to thank Spondivits who came on board for a one race sponsorship deal."
The next race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is next Saturday at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 3:00 pm EST on Saturday, July 3rd and will be broadcast live on the Speed Channel and on MRN radio.