Square D Racing Pocono 500 preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 12, 2001) -The Square D Racing Team is focusing its efforts on improving its flat-track racing as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to Pennsylvania for the annual Pocono 500 this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Bobby Hamilton...

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 12, 2001) -The Square D Racing Team is focusing its efforts on improving its flat-track racing as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to Pennsylvania for the annual Pocono 500 this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Bobby Hamilton will race the same Chevrolet in the 200-lap event that he tested at Kentucky Speedway last week. Hamilton and crew chief Jimmy Elledge hope this weekend's race will help answer their questions about racing on flatter tracks.

"We're heading into the 15th race this season knowing that our weakest link is our flat-track program, but on the flip side we also know this is our best season yet," said Elledge. "So we've put all hands on deck to focus on fixing that as soon as possible. This team has a lot of plans in the works to make this program better not only for tomorrow, but also for the second half of the year.

"The car we're taking to Pocono has a really good body on it. Bobby said when he tested at Kentucky Speedway that there was a feel about the car that he felt would be good for Pocono," continued Elledge. "We learned some things with this car and hopefully that will give us direction for Pocono's odd shape. At this track these drivers have to turn in one corner harder and it's got the tunnel turn that's so unique.

The 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track is unique in NASCAR racing. Each of the three turns has a different radius and banking. But even the most steeply banked turn, the 14-degree first turn, is flatter than the turns at many NASCAR tracks.

"These mile-and-a-half or bigger flat tracks have truly been a challenge to us," Elledge said. Right now we're just taking it week to week. Last weekend in Michigan we tried a little different package and although it wasn't a total failure, it wasn't the success we wanted. This week we're going with yet another package. I hope to get a direction to where we can go and test it out. We'll be doing some testing in Chicago (Ill.) and we've got some other things planned. Unfortunately, they're not building any more Martinsvilles and Bristols, they're building more and more mile-and-a-half flat tracks. So we're going to have to figure out what it takes to run good there and get our program dialed in.

"I have no complaints about this year because I think it's been wonderful with an easy transition. Bobby has been great to work with, which is exactly what I hoped for," Elledge said. "You never know how something is going to be when chemistry and people are involved. Either they gel well or don't. There is always that question mark in your mind. . You want to run well every week and you hope the stars line up, which seems to be the situation we have.

Hamilton agreed with Elledge.

"We started out strong the first half of the season," Hamilton said. "There are some things that we need to work on, which is our first priority. But then again we're not any different from any other team. We've got several more test sessions on our calendar and I feel confident we'll figure out the problem. From the start of the season I had complete confidence in this team. We'll take it one week at a time until we know how to fix it, starting this weekend in Pocono."

The Pocono 500 will air live on FOX Sunday, June 17th at 1 p.m. EST. {YB} Bobby Hamilton's Pocono Performance Profile

Year Event Start Finish

2000 Pocono 500                 33      40
     Pennsylvania 500           38      39
1999 Pocono 500                 11      10
     Pennsylvania 500           27      17
1998 Pocono 500                 16      20
     Pennsylvania 500           37      20
1997 Pocono 500                 1       39
     Pennsylvania 500           28      32
1996 UAW-GM Teamwork 500        15      5
     Miller 500                 31      39
1995 UAW-GM Teamwork 500        3       15
     Miller Genuine Draft 500   8       19
1994 UAW-GM Teamwork 500        32      27
     Miller Genuine Draft 500   16      23

1993 Miller Genuine Draft 500 34 19

1992 Champion Spark Plug 500    29      17
     Miller Genuine Draft 500   24      22
1991 Champion Spark Plug 500    34      35
     Miller Genuine Draft 500   22      11

-SqDR-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton