Hamilton Overcomes Adversity, Lands Respectable Finish CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 19, 2001) - On a stormy night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Bobby Hamilton drove the No. 55 Chevrolet to a respectable 10th place finish in The Winston. As lightning ...
Hamilton Overcomes Adversity, Lands Respectable Finish
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 19, 2001) - On a stormy night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Bobby Hamilton drove the No. 55 Chevrolet to a respectable 10th place finish in The Winston.
As lightning streaked through the sky the Square D Racing team pushed Hamilton's Chevrolet, sporting a special lightning bolt paint scheme, to the starting grid to give Hamilton his shot at the all-star event's $500,000 purse.
When the green flag dropped for the first segment of the three-part race, sprinkles began to fall and the 29, 99, 24 and 15 cars spun and crashed on the first lap. Fortunately for these competitors the rain continued and a red flag stopped the event. These teams were able to bring their back-up cars off their hauler to compete once the race got back underway. NASCAR allowed this to happen because the race was a non-points event.
The race was delayed for about one and one-half hours before the drivers were called back to their cars. They made several slow laps behind the pace car but were stopped once again by rain. This time the sprinkles only lasted a few minutes, but the delays pushed the resumption of the race to 11:30pm.
When the race resumed, Hamilton started in 6th position. On lap 24, an oil line came loose forcing Hamilton to the pits. The caution flag came out because of Hamilton's problem, which allowed him to remain on the lead lap. Hamilton finished 16th in the first segment and during the 10 minute break that followed, the team checked the oil line, cooled the engine, changed four tires, and added gas. The field was inverted for the second segment.
Hamilton was loose entering the turns, but still managed to pass four cars and finish the second segment in 12th position. During a pit stop before the final 10-lap segment, the team adjusted tire pressures to correct the handling problem.
In the final shootout, Hamilton started 12th and passed two cars, beating Terry Labonte to the finish line to take 10th position.
Jeff Gordon, driving a back-up car, won The Winston. Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, and Jerry Nadeau followed in the top-five.