WATKINS GLEN, NY (Aug. 12, 2001) -- Bobby Hamilton and the Square D Racing Team were victimized on the 2.45-mile road course in Watkins Glen, slowed by radiator problems with only seven laps left in the Global Crossing at the Glen. The team...
WATKINS GLEN, NY (Aug. 12, 2001) -- Bobby Hamilton and the Square D Racing Team were victimized on the 2.45-mile road course in Watkins Glen, slowed by radiator problems with only seven laps left in the Global Crossing at the Glen. The team replaced the radiator in record time and Hamilton managed to finish in 36th position, only four laps down. Hamilton held his position in the NASCAR Winston Cup points battle in 19th.
"I hate it for this team today," Hamilton said afterwards. "As we topped the hill, the 90 car got hit and spun in front of me and I didn't have anywhere to go. When I ran into him it busted the radiator. The Square D Racing Team did a great job getting that fixed so I could get back out on the track. Basically we're trying to not get any DNF's (did not finish) this year. This team has mastered fixing things in record time to help me gain all the spots I can out of unfortunate experiences."
Hamilton reported several times during the 90-lap race that the car was fine, but was having trouble on the restarts catching up with the field. As his Goodyear Eagles began to wear, Hamilton's speeds picked up, allowing him to run as fast as cars in the top 15 positions.
The first caution was thrown on lap 19 and although the leaders chose to stay out, crew chief Jimmy Elledge elected to pit out of sequence and take four fresh tires and fuel. Hamilton moved to 12th position when the leaders used their fuel and were forced to pit under green beginning around lap 29.
Hamilton held that spot until a yellow flag fell on lap 38. The team chose to stay out -- figuring they would need only one more stop if the race stayed under the green flag.
As the Goodyear Eagles continued to wear, the No. 55 Chevy began to lose grip, forcing Hamilton to fall back to preserve the brakes.
When Dale Jarrett spun into the sand pit on lap 69 to bring out a yellow flag, Hamilton was in 26th spot. Elledge elected to bring in the Chevy for four tires and fuel, hoping to gain positions on the new sticker' tires. With only seven laps remaining, Hamilton was gearing up to battle those in front of him when the 90 car driven by Brian Simo spun on the back straightaway, giving Hamilton no place to go.
After the collision, the team called Hamilton to the garage and changed radiators in only three caution laps. Trying to salvage the best finish possible, Hamilton drove his damaged race car back onto the track with only three laps to go, finishing the race in 36th.
Jeff Gordon held off Jeff Burton to capture his fourth victory at Watkins Glen International. Jeremy Mayfield, Ricky Rudd and Todd Bodine rounded out the top five.