FLAT ROCK, N.C., (Sept. 20, 2000) - Andy Petree Racing (APR) announced today the signing of veteran NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Bobby Hamilton to a two-year contract which will put the Nashville, Tenn., native behind the wheel of the No. 55...
FLAT ROCK, N.C., (Sept. 20, 2000) - Andy Petree Racing (APR) announced today the signing of veteran NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Bobby Hamilton to a two-year contract which will put the Nashville, Tenn., native behind the wheel of the No. 55 Square D Chevrolet in 2001.
Hamilton, a 10-year veteran in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition, will join current APR driver Joe Nemechek, who pilots the No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet. Hamilton replaces Kenny Wallace who will depart at the end of this season.
"This is a great opportunity for me to continue to build on the successes of my career," said Hamilton. "I've been given a fresh start with a team owner who knows how to win Winston Cup championships. I'm looking forward to working with Andy and Jimmy (Elledge, crew chief). I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they've accomplished, and that's one of the reasons APR is such a good fit for me."
Hamilton brings an impressive Winston Cup resume to APR. The 43-year-old driver has amassed three wins and five poles along with 17 top-five and 56 top-10 finishes since garnering the Rookie of the Year tittle in 1991.
Most importantly, Hamilton has finished in the top-10 in points twice in the last four years. He earned ninth-place in 1996 and 10th place in 1998.
"We were looking for a driver with a winning attitude for our racing program here at APR," said owner Andy Petree, who led Dale Earnhardt to two of his seven Winston Cup championships as Earnhardt's crew chief from 1993 through 1995. "Chemistry is an important piece of the Winston Cup puzzle, and we were looking for a veteran driver who would not only continue what we've built here, but also take it to the next level. With the accomplishments and Winston Cup experience that Bobby brings to the table, we feel that he's the driver that can take us there."
Playing an integral role in the selection of a new driver for the No. 55 team was sponsor Square D. The 97-year-old maker of electrical equipment and components worked in conjunction with Petree to find a driver that met both party's high standards.
"We're excited about bringing in a proven winner to serve as Square D's spokesperson and driver for the No. 55 Chevy," added Ralph Harris, Square D director of marketing. "Winston Cup racing has been an excellent venue for Square D to build customer relations and promote brand awareness, and we're looking forward to a successful 2001 season with Bobby Hamilton leading the way."
"I'm using this opportunity as a fresh start to continue my racing career," said Hamilton. "I know I have the skills to return to victory lane and give Square D its first victory. I've proven that in the past. But in Winston Cup, being a good driver isn't enough. You need the total package to be competitive. This is a great situation for me. The people at Square D have been strong supporters of Winston Cup racing over the last five years. I'm looking forward to representing them well next season."