BUSCH: Charlotte: Shane Hmiel preview



MOORESVILLE, NC (May 23, 2005) -- For NASCAR teams, racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina is like playing a home game in any other sport. Unfortunately, since so many teams make their home in Charlotte, there really is no home field advantage, but there are definitely bragging rights at stake. For Shane Hmiel and Braun Racing, going to victory lane this weekend at home in front of family and friends would make a win even more special.

"We're looking forward to getting back to a 1.5 mile track where we've run so well all year, and hopefully we can put this WINFUEL Chevrolet in victory lane at home," Shane said. "I've always said that Charlotte is my worst track. I have just never liked it, and I have never had good luck there in a Busch car, with the exception of one 10th place finish in 2002."

"In the past, the track has been extremely fast, but there hasn't been any grip and that is not a good combination, especially when you consider the bumps in turns 3 & 4. I think that turn 3 at Lowe's is one of the most difficult on the Busch schedule, if not the most difficult. Used to you would carry lots of speed into turn 3 off of the backstretch, with no grip in the racetrack, and then you would have to deal with the bumps in the track on top of that."

Lowe's Motor Speedway recently completed improvements to try and make the track surface better for close, side-by-side racing. In preparation for the upcoming Carquest Auto Parts 300, the Braun Racing team tested at Lowe's on May 9 & 10 to get familiar with the new changes.

"Our Braun Racing/WINFUEL team had a really good test at Charlotte," Hmiel said. "I was interested to get to the test and see how big of a difference the work on the track really made. I have to say that everyone at Lowe's Motor Speedway did a really good job improving the condition of the track. There is definitely a lot more grip in the track and the bumps have even been smoothed out a little. The improvements are going to make for great side by side racing because there are multiple grooves in the corners now."

"I am really looking forward to coming back to race on Saturday night at Lowe's. The fans are definitely going to see a much better race here, than they have in years past. Both of the cars that we brought here to test a pretty close in the speeds that we're able to run, but BR20 just feels a little more comfortable to me. BR20 is a brand new car that's really fast and we're going to bring it back here to Charlotte to compete for the win."

After enjoying their second off-weekend of the season, the WINFUEL team and the entire NASCAR Busch series will begin the toughest stretch of the season with 18 consecutive races. The #32 WINFUEL Chevrolet will be back in action under the lights at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte this Saturday, May 28. Live coverage of the Carquest Auto Parts 300 begins on FX at 6:30 p.m. ET.


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Shane Hmiel