Mesa Marin: Bobby Hamilton preview

Hamilton grabs life by the horns. "There are going to be several tracks that I go to for the first time this year," Hamilton said. "It's just part of racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series full time. This series has not always traveled ...

Hamilton grabs life by the horns.

"There are going to be several tracks that I go to for the first time this year," Hamilton said. "It's just part of racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series full time. This series has not always traveled to the places that I've been racing in Winston Cup these past few years. But it's a new year and a new season. The great thing about Mesa Marin is that it is a short track. I tend to run pretty good at those types of tracks. Bakersfield is a little bitty bullring. It's like a banked Martinsville. They seal it every time the trucks or the Winston West cars come out there. It's supposed to be a real slick little race track. I talked to Harvick the other day and he was telling me about what it's like to race there. Mesa Marin reminds me a lot, from what I hear and see on film, of the old Nashville race track. I've got a lot of time down there, and we've even tested down there this year."

From Hero to Zero

"This is the bad part about leading the points this early," Hamilton said. "You've got bullring race tracks coming up in Bakersfield and Martinsville after it. You can go from a hero to a zero in just a couple of races if the wrong things happen. I always say the little bullrings are as bad as Talladega or Daytona. It doesn't take but one mistake to take a lot of vehicles out."

Grab Life by the Horns Approach

"It's the year of the Ram in the Chinese zodiac," Hamilton said. "We're taking an approach this year and we're going to grab life by the horns. That's what we're going to try to do every race. That means trying our best to tackle this thing every week, and we're not going to look beyond the next week. And we're not going to look behind us after every event. We're just going to focus on one event."

Notes:

- Hamilton will be signing autographs as part of Mesa Marin Raceway annual Downtown Street Festival on Friday March 21st. He will be there from 6 pm until 8:30 pm.

- He will also be signing autographs at the Dodge Motorsports souvenir trailer on Sunday at 10:30 am.

- Hamilton is the current point leader over driver Travis Kvapil by five points.

- The only two drivers who have finished in the top five in both of the first two races are Hamilton and Travis Kvapil.

- This is the first time Hamilton and his crew chief Newt Moore have ever seen Mesa Marin's half-mile oval.

Five on, Five off - A New Square D crew: "We've been practicing with our new in-house crew for a month or two now," Hamilton said. "Really we didn't think it was best to throw them to the wolves in the first two races. So we all had an agreement that until we thought we were 100 percent we were going to get other crews to pit our truck and they could watch and learn from them. Yesterday they tried some things the Team Marine guys did in Darlington and it seemed to help them a little bit. I've told them to do the best they can in Bakersfield and don't worry about the speed of the stop. Just concentrate on five (lug nuts) off, five (lug nuts) on and I'll take care of the rest of it. I feel like I've got a little more control at a short track if we do have a bad pit stop that I can help out on the track."

Scarface: this weekend's truck: The Dodge Ram that Hamilton will be driving at Mesa Marin Raceway is nicknamed Scarface. The nickname was derived from the 1932 movie and was known for gangsters fighting for ownership of prime property. Hamilton, as Al Capone, will be fighting amongst other drivers, a.k.a. gangsters, to own the prime piece of real estate, the finish line, at Mesa Marin Raceway.

-bhr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Travis Kvapil