CHARLOTTE, N.C., (July 3, 2001) - Square D driver Bobby Hamilton proved himself a restrictor-plate racer when he captured the Talladega 500 on April 29 at Talladega Superspeedway. In this weekend's Pepsi 400 at Talladega's sister track, Daytona ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (July 3, 2001) - Square D driver Bobby Hamilton proved himself a restrictor-plate racer when he captured the Talladega 500 on April 29 at Talladega Superspeedway. In this weekend's Pepsi 400 at Talladega's sister track, Daytona International Speedway, Hamilton hopes to continue his success. He is one of only three drivers (along with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Mike Wallace) who have finished in the top 10 in both restrictor plate races already run this season.
"Our Talladega win was a tremendous building opportunity for both Square D and Andy Petree Racing," Hamilton said in an interview published on Daytona's website (www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com). "At the season opener in Daytona, we had a good car and held our own for the competition (eighth). We're looking for a repeat performance this weekend."
When the year started at Daytona, Hamilton looked forward to many firsts with the Square D Racing Team. One goal was accomplished with the Talladega victory—the first for Square D and APR. Now, as the teams begin the second half of the season, an exhausting 20-week stretch ending in November, Hamilton has that much more knowledge about the cars that APR prepares for him.
"So far this season we've been testing all the cars at different tracks," Hamilton said. "It seems like the ones that Kenny (Wallace) liked at certain places last year were not what I picked for the same track this year. Now that we're traveling to most of the tracks for the second time, we should have a better feel for what Chevrolet we need to take back. This is the tough stretch, but I look forward to some more solid runs with this team.
"The Pepsi 400 is a way for the teams to show once again, like Talladega, that we can all race another good, clean race," Hamilton said. "With all the questions about safety and with the tragedy that has happened in our sport this season, we need to focus on positive things."
The Square D Racing team will travel to Daytona's 2.5-mile oval with the same Chevy in which Hamilton captured one of the team's five top-10 finishes thus far this season—an eighth place finish in the Daytona 500. But this is not the same car that he drove to victory at Talladega. Hamilton explains why the Square D Racing Team will take two different cars to the sister tracks.
"These tracks are a little different. The corners in Daytona are tighter than those at Talladega. But the big thing is the asphalt in Daytona is older and abrasive. So it's hard on tires. The chassis comes into play there, whereas it doesn't in Talladega because we depend so much on horsepower.
"Right now when people ask what is my favorite track, I always reply with Talladega," Hamilton continued. "But that would have to change if we repeat the Talladega performance (first) in Daytona." <pre> Bobby Hamilton's Daytona Performance Profile:
Year Event Start Finish
2001 Daytona 500 35 8
2000 Daytona 500 37 43 Pepsi 400 42 36
1999 Daytona 500 16 29 Pepsi 400 18 8
1998 Daytona 500 22 12 Pepsi 400 37 11
1997 Daytona 500 39 15 Pepsi 400 25 20
1996 Daytona 500 38 20 Pepsi 400 19 16
1995 Daytona 500 26 18 Pepsi 400 39 40
1994 Daytona 500 23 12 Pepsi 400 42 24
1993 Daytona 500 27 27 Pepsi 400 30 17
1992 Daytona 500 22 32 Pepsi 400 25 33
1991 Daytona 500 20 10 Pepsi 400 5 28