BOBBY HAMILTON JR. READY TO WIN AT GATEWAY Notes and Quotes * Bobby Hamilton Jr. will be making his second start in the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge in the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 at Gateway. * Hamilton Jr. has 6 NASCAR Busch...
BOBBY HAMILTON JR. READY TO WIN AT GATEWAY
Notes and Quotes
* Bobby Hamilton Jr. will be making his second start in the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge in the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 at Gateway.
* Hamilton Jr. has 6 NASCAR Busch Series starts at Gateway. His average starting position is 17.3 and his average finishing position is 15.2. His last two starts at Gateway have both resulted in top five finishes (5th on May 10th, 2003 and 4th on May 8th, 2004).
* The Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 at Gateway will mark Hamilton Jr.'s 10th NCTS career start.
* Hamilton Jr. is racing one of his father's favorite trucks from the 2005 NCTS season, Slim Shady. Slim Shady finished 6th at Gateway in 2005 with Hamilton Sr. behind the wheel and was leading the race late in 2004 until he was taken out by another competitor.
Hamilton Jr. on his past performance at Gateway: "Gateway has definitely been a good track for us in the past we have run in the top five in the past few times we have run Busch Series races there We had a chance to win a couple of them there. With the way our short track program is going at BHR, with a pole and a top 10 finish at Martinsville, we are looking forward to going to Gateway. We just need to have a good points day and get another good finish and possibly a win there. Dodge has always run good at Gateway, Musgrave killed the competition there last year and BHR had top ten caliber trucks there last year so we are looking forward to going back.."
Is Gateway a short track or Intermediate track? "Gateway is a short track, it is an animal. You have to get through turns three and four well, it is like Milwaukee. Turns one and two are unlike anything we go to except for maybe Martinsville with banking. The straight-a-ways are long but the corners are so slow that the corners make up most of the racetrack. You can beat and bang there, aerodynamics plays a little bit of a role but not a whole lot. The Toyotas and Fords will be tough but the Dodges have run really well there in the past."
On the importance of gaining points each week: "We think about the points all the time, every week we put an emphasis on finishing the races and performing. As a competitor out there racing hard you say that you don't care about the points but at the end of the night you check to see how much you have gained or lost. Right now it is easy to gain three or four spots because everybody is so close. If you can lead laps and get those five bonus points, lead the most laps and get those five bonus points and win then you know you going to gain some big points. Gateway is also a place where you really want to stay out of trouble, if you stay out of trouble then you know several of the guys ahead of you in points are probably going to get into trouble over the course of the night and it could be a good night."
Testing: "Testing is real important for all the Dodge teams right now. The Toyota and the Fords, well Mark Martin, have had a stranglehold on all the competition this year. We have to do whatever we can to stay competitive. Two years ago you couldn't touch a Dodge truck but now the others have stepped up with a truck that has less drag. We need to go in and trim some of the drag off these Dodges so we are on a level playing field. It is hard work for all of our guys, it puts a strain on their family lives but at the same time when we are back running well winning races and competing for a championship it will be worth it to them. In this sport the day you stop working is another day further behind. The test days are extremely important we are going to keep going until we are the best manufacturer, the best Dodge team out there.