The up and down season which most recently has been wrapped in controversy for Braun Racing's Shane Hmiel moved to a high level on Thursday when he snatched the pole position out of the grip of the defending NASCAR Busch Series' 2004 ...
The up and down season which most recently has been wrapped in controversy for Braun Racing's Shane Hmiel moved to a high level on Thursday when he snatched the pole position out of the grip of the defending NASCAR Busch Series' 2004 champion.
Hmiel was one of the final five to take to the Texas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile quad oval track whilst Martin Truex Jr sat watching the bottom third of the qualifying order attempt to unseat him from the top qualifying spot.
Hmiel did just that in his WinFuel Chevy with a time of 28.445 seconds for a one lap speed of 189.840 miles per hour; a mere 0.030 seconds faster than Truex Jr. Hmiel now has notched four career Busch poles.
"It feels good to come out here and be the fastest car," said Hmiel. "We definitely got to beat Mark Martin. I ran wide open. Hats off to the guys at the shop. They've built a great body. I have such an opportunity and a great crew chief and car. This is a really fast place."
Hmiel's good feelings proved true as the young racer placed his Chevy fastest during practice prior to qualifying.
Truex Jr will start second on the grid in his Chance 2 Motorsports Chevy, ahead of the top Ford from the Roush Racing stables.
Carl Edwards was only 0.024 seconds off the pace of Truex Jr. His teammate Mark Martin slotted fifth fastest.
"Mark Martin told me he only lifted about half throttle, and only for a second," said Edwards. "I went in the corner there, and I wanted to lift all the way and I was asking if Mark did it. Mark did it, and I didn't lift very much. That was the fastest race car I've ever qualified and not messed up. That was fun."
Justin Labonte will start fourth on the grid in the U.S. Coast Guard Chevy.
"We got a great starting draw," said Labonte. "Te track got faster. We ran it out there wide open. That's all we could do."
Rounding out the top ten were: Tony Stewart, Jon Wood, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Johnny Sauter.
Kyle Busch failed to qualify and will sit out the O'Reilly 300 on Saturday.
"I was trying to run wide open through turns one and two," said Busch. "It just started going up the race track. I cranked it left and just lost it."