BROOKLYN, Mich., (June 10, 2001) - Using a chassis that was new to Andy Petree Racing, Bobby Hamilton finished 22nd in the Kmart 400 at Michigan International Raceway. It was the 11th top-25 finish for Hamilton and the Square D Chevrolet this ...
BROOKLYN, Mich., (June 10, 2001) - Using a chassis that was new to Andy Petree Racing, Bobby Hamilton finished 22nd in the Kmart 400 at Michigan International Raceway. It was the 11th top-25 finish for Hamilton and the Square D Chevrolet this season. Hamilton slipped one more position in the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship points battle to 12th, but he is a mere 13 points from reclaiming a spot in the top-10.
After Jimmy Spencer spun on lap 11, Hamilton radioed to crew chief Jimmy Elledge that his car needed to be a little tighter entering into the turns. The Square D Racing Team adjusted tire pressure and changed four tires on the No. 55 Chevrolet. Only six laps later, rookie Kurt Busch and Bobby Labonte had trouble, causing another yellow flag. Hamilton stayed out to gain track position.
By the fourth caution of the day, Hamilton had fallen back to 31st spot. The Square D Chevy was still too loose. The team added air to the left rear tire and called for Bobby to come in for four fresh Goodyear Eagles and 22 gallons of fuel.
Fortunately for the team, another caution came out on lap 82. It allowed the team to pit twice, to make a spoiler adjustment and cut the rear sway bar loose. After this adjustment, Hamilton said the car was still dancing around entering the corners. .
The team's luck finally changed when the sixth yellow flag of the day was thrown. It came right before the Square D Racing Team's scheduled green flag pit stop. Hamilton felt the car was loose entering into turn one, but got into turn three well. The team made a two-tire pit stop to improve their track position, moving them up to 24th for the restart on lap 179 of the 200-lap race.
With only 12 laps remaining, as Hamilton was holding onto 21st, John Andretti and Robert Pressley crashed, causing another yellow flag. The team changed four tires for what they expected to be the final shootout. Only 5 laps later, however, Shawna Robinson spun. Hamilton did an excellent job slowing his car and dodging all the trouble. He only lost one position.
After the final four-lap shootout, Hamilton held on to 22nd spot, finishing only one lap down to Kmart 400 winner and new points leader Jeff Gordon. Ricky Rudd, Sterling Marlin, Jeremy Mayfield, and rookie Ryan Newman followed in the top-five.