Stewart, Hamilton test Darlington DARLINGTON, S.C. (Feb. 26, 1999) Bobby Hamilton says he's thinking about building a house in Darlington, so he can slip in Darlington Raceway without anyone knowing, and make some practice laps throughout the ...
Stewart, Hamilton test Darlington
DARLINGTON, S.C. (Feb. 26, 1999) Bobby Hamilton says he's thinking about building a house in Darlington, so he can slip in Darlington Raceway without anyone knowing, and make some practice laps throughout the year.
"I need all the time I can get on this place," Hamilton said Thursday during a break in a test session at NASCAR's original superspeedway. "I need to spend lots of time here. If NASCAR had unlimited tests, I'd be here at least five times before we came back for the (March 21) TranSouth Financial 400.
"There's a reason they gave this place the nickname it has -- 'Too Tough To Tame'. We brought down 12 or 13 sets of tires and we're going to wear them out over the next couple of days, whether we are fast or not. I'm gonna log many laps. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm with a team that I feel like we can unload the car and I can run fast at every track we run on, except Darlington! I just can't do it at Darlington! It's all me, but someday I'll get it!"
Hamilton was at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval along with Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Tony Stewart. Both conducted their test sessions utilizing two cars. Stewart was quicker, turning a lap at 168.931 mph, which would have been good enough for the Bud Pole for the TranSouth Financial 400 a year ago.
"I agree with Bobby," said Stewart. "This is the toughest place I've ever seen. I just want to make the race and get out of here with the car in one piece. The entire track is tough, not just one part. I tried to watch Bobby's line first thing this morning, but he told me I better look elsewhere if I wanted to go fast. I didn't do too bad."
Hamilton, who admitted he was concentrating on a race setup only, ran a best lap at 166.754 mph. In 16 career races here, the veteran has cracked the top-10 just twice, with his best showing a ninth-place in 1995.
"In my career, I've really had just one good race here," he said. "And I wish I could've gotten a trophy for it. When we come back here, we'll take a provisional to get in the race if we have to. I don't care where we start, just as long as we're in the race. I just want to be good on long runs, not just one lap. I want to be in contention in the race."
TranSouth Financial 400 weekend kicks off on Friday, March 19, with Bud Pole Day. For ticket information on all three days of racing, call the Raceway Ticket Office at (843) 395-8499.
Source: NASCAR Online