CHARLOTTE, N.C., (March 7, 2001) - Crew chief Jimmy Elledge along with Square D driver Bobby Hamilton agreed on Tuesday to take the No. 55 Chevrolet used last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to Atlanta, site of Sunday's Cracker Barrel 500...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (March 7, 2001) - Crew chief Jimmy Elledge along with Square D driver Bobby Hamilton agreed on Tuesday to take the No. 55 Chevrolet used last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to Atlanta, site of Sunday's Cracker Barrel 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event.
Racing at 190 mph for 325 laps on the 1.54-mile oval will create new excitement for the Square D Racing Team.
"With the downforce that our Vegas car has, we think that it will run better in Atlanta," stated Elledge. "Although the two tracks are similar in size, Atlanta is much faster. The key to running well there will be to have the total aerodynamics package. You need to be able to race three wide at high rates of speed in Atlanta."
"Our records show that we're not the greatest qualifier there, but it also shows that we're pretty strong by the time the checkered flag drops," stated Hamilton. "Atlanta is one of those race tracks where the high speeds are a direct result of our aerodynamics package.
"All the adjustments we made to the car in Vegas will be totally different in Atlanta. The team was thrown a curve last weekend there, but we're prepared to move forward and run up front again," continued Hamilton. "We all unload our cars equally here, but it's how we tweak the setup that will be the difference.
"This year is based upon a lot of goals for the Square D Racing Team. We're focused and determined to reach every one of them."
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In the third race of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bobby Hamilton finished a seemingly disappointing 30th. However, after making several adjustments throughout the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, the Square D Racing Team regarded this as a valuable test session for the No. 55 Chevrolet.
As crew chief Jimmy Elledge called out the lap times throughout the 267-lap race on the 1.5-mile banked speedway, Hamilton reported that the Square D Chevy was incredibly tight.
"I had to keep it low on the racetrack because we were so tight," said Hamilton. "That day, we were just testing several different things. Vegas basically taught us know what does and doesn't work on that type of track with this new team. We want to unload at other speedways and be able to compete, but there's going to be some learning curves along the way.
One lucky thing for us in Vegas was that it was only the third race," added Hamilton. "We struggled there, but we're staying positive about the rest of the season."
Bobby made a trip to the race shop on Tuesday to compare notes with Elledge. The two re-grouped their strategy for Atlanta.
"Jimmy and I went over the car that we're taking to Atlanta so we can be more competitive," remarked Hamilton. "I still have the confidence I've always had in this team and we're going to keep digging like we've been doing. We'll get it. The odds of that are big, so bet on that one for sure."