Loudon II: Hamilton/Biffle preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 10, 2002) -- NASCAR Grand National series points leader Greg Biffle is slated to fill in for the next three to five races for Schneider Electric's regular driver, Bobby Hamilton, who was injured in Richmond, Va., last week.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 10, 2002) -- NASCAR Grand National series points leader Greg Biffle is slated to fill in for the next three to five races for Schneider Electric's regular driver, Bobby Hamilton, who was injured in Richmond, Va., last week. Biffle will pilot the No. 55 Chevy until Hamilton is able to return or until his rookie status becomes in jeopardy.

Last weekend, in only his second Winston Cup Series start, Biffle led 13 laps on Richmond International Raceway's .75-mile oval before a late-race collision took away his chance for a shot at victory lane. Following the race, the team members took turns giving their car owner, Andy Petree, and crew chief, Jimmy Elledge, a nice pat on the back for a stellar driver choice. Even Hamilton made a few phone calls to offer his best wishes.

As for this weekend's New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, Biffle will get more help than a normal rookie. That's because Hamilton doesn't plan on sitting at home watching it on TV. He will be at the tracks to offer his coaching expertise from a veteran to a rookie -- a combination which should prove fruitful for Biffle.

Bobby, what do you say to someone new to the series and out there driving your car?

"It depends on the situation, but there is always something to say. Greg is the kind of person who listens to others and thinks about how he can relate that to his own particular driving style. He's a good driver and has a tremendous amount of potential in this series next year. He could even log a win this year. The opportunity to drive this car will help him learn some tricks of the trade to make it in this series. It's about experience. I'm going to be the listener and the watcher while he's on the track.

"I'm not there to tell him where and when to turn the wheel, he is above and beyond that. I'll be there to help coach him to roll into the corners, stay smooth and think about the next change he needs made to the car. Patience is the biggest thing that a rookie hasn't learned yet. They are gutsier than the veterans on making rushed decisions, but some times you have to wait a few laps to feel it out. It's hard to decide what you would do in a situation unless you are out there on the race track. But I'll be there in case he needs anything. It's important for me to be around these guys and let them know I support them even if I'm not in the car. The biggest thing our team needs to worry about right now is finishing races. We need to get back up there in the top 25 in points."

How are you feeling after several days of resting at home?

"I feel good actually. People tell me that there is no way I should be doing the things that I am doing right now, but I'm bored sitting at home. I've been at my truck shop and running errands every day. I've got some follow-up doctor's appointments this week to make sure things are healing smoothly and maybe even find some ways that we can speed this process up. In the meantime, I'll continue to follow the rules. I don't want to take the chance on hurting it again, for sure.

-ser-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Greg Biffle , Andy Petree