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SHANE HMIEL did an admitted bump-and-run on TODD BODINE on the white flag lap to take his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck victory. The margin of victory was 1.009secs.

Hmiel came from twenty-first in a field of 36 Trucks. The 24-year old has been driving Trucks since the beginning of this season, but did not sign up as a rookie candidate, having already run 60 races in the Busch Series, with three pole positions.

Finishing third was STEVE PARK, who led twice for 59 laps. This was his 'hometown' race because his Orleans Racing Team is at LVMS, sponsored by the Orleans Casino, owned by the family of BRENDAN GAUGHAN, now a Nextel Cup driver. Fourth was JOHNNY BENSON, followed by BOBBY HAMILTON.

Polesitter MIKE SKINNER finished sixth after a good run. He led for the first 32 laps before being passed by Park. Skinner holds the record for the most pole positions in one season - ten in his first year, the inaugural season in 1995.

JACK SPRAGUE had a very disappointing night. He started fourth, but immediately had problems with his motor and only lasted five laps before his engine blew.

There were six leaders with six lead changes - Skinner, Park, Edwards, MATT CRAFTON, Bodine and Hmiel. There were five cautions for 22 laps in the 146-lap race.

BRANDON WHITT was the top rookie, finishing 13th after starting twelfth. He is fourth in the rookie standings, behind DAVID REUTIMANN, TRACY HINES, and SHANE SIEG.

CARL EDWARDS led once for 16 laps, but retired after 101 laps due to engine problems. He didn't waste any time in leaving, catching a chopper for McCarran Airport in downtown Las Vegas and off to Dover on MATT KENSETH's private jet. He will fly directly into Dover Air Force base. Sunday he starts 15th in the Nextel Cup race.

After taking the chequered flag and his victory lap, Hmiel did a front straight burnout so pronounced that it was quite awhile before the smoke cleared and he could be seen. There's no danger of West Nile Virus anywhere near this track. Hmiel was so excited that, once the smoke cleared, he got out of the Truck and threw his helmet, minus its HANS device, into the crowd. Afterwards, he told the media conference that if he had the name and address of the fan who caught the helmet, he'd send a hat, T-shirt and whatever else the fan wanted.

Hmiel's team owner, BILLY BALLEW, had previously told Hmiel that, if he won, Hmiel could have anything he wanted. Hmiel said he was going to buy himself a diamond Rolex watch. He didn't need anything from Ballew - Ballew was the only team owner who would give him a chance after he was suspended from NASCAR for a positive drug test. Hmiel went to NASCAR, asked what needed to be done so he could return to racing, and then followed through and then some.

After the race, nine Trucks went to the NASCAR dyno for testing. Truck series director, WAYNE AUTON, said NASCAR takes trucks to the dyno several times a year, as one of the means to compare Trucks' parity. The idea is to run Trucks from different manufacturers and different engine builders. All of the results from this dyno test will be provided to each manufacturer.

So far this year, Trucks have been tested at Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and LVMS. There could be one or two more such tests this year.

NASCAR tested two trucks from each of the four manufacturers in the series, except Ford which had three tested - perhaps because those owners felt they were down on power. The Chevrolet trucks tested were Hmiel and DENNIS SETZER. The Dodge Trucks tested were Park and Hamilton. The Ford Trucks tested were TERRY COOK, RICK CRAWFORD and Whitt. The Toyota trucks tested were Skinner and Reutimann.

The crowd was good. There were several estimates, none from the track which doesn't release such figures. I heard figures ranging from 65,000-80,000, with 73,000 to 74,000 being a good round figure, perhaps a good round 74,000. It was more than last year's big crowd. The track capacity is 122,000 and LVMS doesn't fill the first ten rows. The crowd was big, traffic was difficult and parking was nonexistent for latecomers. At least one parked on the freeway and hiked in.....


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