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Akins Motorsports puts the "Hmiel" in the Milwaukee Mile
MOORESVILLE, N.C.Akins Motorsports team owners Doug Stringer and Brad Akins announced today that NASCAR Busch Series driver Shane Hmiel, 24, will pilot the No. 38 Great Clips Dodge next weekend for the running of the Alan Kulwicki 250 at The Milwaukee Mile. Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 38 Great Clips Dodge, will be unable to take part in Busch Series activities due to his participation in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in Sonoma, Calif. Kahne will return to action in the NASCAR Busch Series the following weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
"Shane has definitely proven to be successful in the Busch Series on flat tracks, so we're looking forward to running him in Milwaukee next weekend," said Stringer. "Tyler Walker and Regan Smith have both done a great job for our team this season, but we built a new car for this race, and we want to put our best foot forward since we're unable to utilize Kasey.
"We feel like Shane's capabilities on short tracks have been extremely proven, and we look forward to getting his input on these types of tracks. As a race team, our short track program hasn't been that good, so hopefully he'll be able to help us get a good feel and we'll be able to make some new changes that will help us in the future as well. Shane is also going to be competing in the Craftsman Truck race at Milwaukee the day before our race, so that added track time will also be a huge benefit to us."
"I'm glad that Shane's in our car for Milwaukee," said Kahne. "I think he's an awesome driver, and I think the Great Clips team deserves to have a great driver in that car. I think Shane is going to do an excellent job next weekend, and I'll definitely be watching from Sonoma."
Hmiel first entered the NASCAR Busch Series in 2001 with Innovative Motorsports as the substitute practice and qualifying driver for Winston Cup driver Kenny Wallace. In addition that season, the Pleasant Garden, NC, native competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and Goody's Dash Series where he scored two wins and 13 top-10 finishes and finished fifth in points.
During the 2002 season, Hmiel fielded the No. 47 Chevrolet for Innovative Motorsports in the NASCAR Busch Series. After a fifth-place finish in the season opener at Daytona, Hmiel claimed an additional seven top-10 finishes as well as two Bud Pole Awards. Last season, Hmiel posted four top-five and nine top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Busch Series. His career highlights in the series include third-place finishes at Texas Motor Speedway (March 29, 2003) and Talladega Superspeedway (April 5, 2003).
During the 2004 season, Hmiel has competed in the Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series on a limited basis.
"I'm really happy to have this opportunity to go back to Milwaukee to race," said Hmiel. "I like racing on flat tracks, so I'm excited to get out there. I just want to thank Kasey Kahne, Akins Motorsports and Great Clips for allowing me to get behind the wheel in Milwaukee."
This season, the Akins Motorsports team has recorded three top-five and six top-10 finishes and is currently 11th in the NASCAR Busch Series driver point standings.
For more information on Akins Motorsports, please visit www.akinsmotorsports. For additional information on the team's primary sponsor, Great Clips, visit www.greatclips.com.