DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 12, 2001) Shane Hmiel, of Pleasant Garden, N.C. passed Cam Strader on lap 65 and went on to win his first career Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring win. Cam Strader sat on the pole with a speed of 150.740 mph. It had been...
DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 12, 2001) Shane Hmiel, of Pleasant Garden, N.C. passed Cam Strader on lap 65 and went on to win his first career Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring win. Cam Strader sat on the pole with a speed of 150.740 mph.
It had been seventeen years since the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring had visited the track, "Too Tough to Tame." In the driver's meeting, Series Director Mike Simons challenged the drivers, "Do not to try and tame her. Just race the track." Only a handful of the drivers in the field had previous experience at Darlington. At the start the drivers moved quickly into single-file allowing themselves time to settle-in and offer respect to Lady Darlington.
After a few laps the drivers began to make their moves. The leaders made a four car break-a-way. Strader was in command in his Mercury Cougar, dominating the early and mid-stages of the race. The first of four cautions came out when "Doc" Brewer looped his car in turn four and collected Zach Brewer (no relation).
Shane Hmiel, son of Winston Cup Team Manager Steve Hmiel, started nineteenth and made steady progress toward the front. By lap 20 he have moved to ninth place. On lap forty he was in fourth place. At that point in the event Cam Strader was leading, with Justin Hobgood in second, and Jake Hobgood was third. By lap 45 Hmiel had passed the Hobgood brothers and began his challenge for the lead. On lap 52 Jake Hobgood spun in turn four and backed his car into the wall, bringing out the final caution.
On the restart Cam Strader, in his Wesson Cooking Oil Mercury was able to pull away. But Shane Hmiel was determined to get by Strader. Hmiel made a bid for the lead on lap 61 sending the crowd into a frenzy; but Strader held him off. Strader's car began to get very loose and Hmiel was there to take the lead on lap 65, making a the pass on the outside in turn four. "My car would get loose at the end of long runs," said Strader. "Shane had the strongest car today and I congratulate him."
Shane Hmiel was thrilled to win at Darlington. "I am so excited to be in victory lane here at Darlington!" Hmiel dedicated the win to a relative that had recently passed away. Rounding out the top five were Cam Strader, Ned Combs, Justin Hobgood, and Roger Sawyer.
Other note of interest: Eric Van Cleef is top finisher among the Toyota drivers with his 7th place finish.