Bobby Hamilton, Jr. on Daytona: "Winning at Daytona is not always about how good your car is. It also has a lot to do with how lucky you are. Of course you have to have a good motor, a good aero package, and good pit stops, but I think luck ...
Bobby Hamilton, Jr. on Daytona:
"Winning at Daytona is not always about how good your car is. It also has a lot to do with how lucky you are. Of course you have to have a good motor, a good aero package, and good pit stops, but I think luck plays a bigger factor in the restrictor plate races than in other races. Finding someone to work with you in the draft is another important element. You cannot win or even finish in the top-15 if no one will work with you. You can lose ten positions in one lap at Daytona. Of course, the biggest concern for everyone is avoiding "The Big One." The restrictor plate rules bunch us up so much that one mistake by one person can cause a huge problem for a lot of people. Just look at what happened at Talladega. An accident on lap 11 took out 24 cars. That's over half the field. Overall, I would say that the key at Daytona is being at the right place at the right time every single lap.
Fred Wanke on Daytona:
"We had an excellent test session in Daytona a couple of weeks ago," said Wanke. "We concentrated mostly on two lap runs in preparation for qualifying. We've got the same car we competed with last year and I was really pleased with its performance. To be honest, with the new shock rule that is in place, the car ran a lot faster than I anticipated. We'll have to wait and see what it can do in the draft, but we're not going to worry about that until after we qualify. Right now, we're focused on a starting place at the front of the pack. Our first concern is to start up front so we can avoid that mess we got caught up in last year."
Spotter, Ronnie Russell, on Daytona:
"In a word, spotting at Daytona is very nerve-wracking. The track is so big that when the cars are on the back straightaway, they look about the size of a 1/64th scale die cast car. Imagine trying to clear a car by less than six inches on something that small going 190 mph. While you have your eyes on the car at all times, you are also like a lobbyist up on the spotter stand. You are constantly moving around making deals with other teams, finding someone to draft with your driver, or arguing with someone whose driver is holding yours back. It can get pretty interesting up there. You are genuinely relieved when the checkered flag falls.
Testing & Equipment:
The No. 25 Team Marines tested at Daytona International Speedway on January 20-21, 2003. The team will compete with chassis No. 21 in the Koolerz 300. This is the same car Hamilton, Jr. drove in both 2002 events at Daytona International Speedway finishing 30th (accident) in the season opener and 33rd (accident) in the July race.