CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 30, 2001) - This weekend's MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs (DE) International Speedway is not the most popular race for some NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers, hence the nickname "Monster Mile." The one-mile,...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 30, 2001) - This weekend's MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs (DE) International Speedway is not the most popular race for some NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers, hence the nickname "Monster Mile." The one-mile, concrete-surfaced oval, however, is one of Bobby Hamilton's favorites. He has six top-10 finishes at Dover, including a 2nd place in the September 1995 event.
"It's always been one of those racetracks that I've always been able to get my car around easily," said Hamilton on the phone from Andy Petree Racing on Wednesday. "A lot of the guys have to run high and I've always been able to get my car where I run around the bottom of the racetrack. It's usually the quickest way around there, if you can do it. That track has such tight corners -pushy corners. So, coming off the corner you push so bad that most people have to make the racetrack wide by racing into that top groove to get off the corner. I've always been able to work around that.
"It's a place where I have a history of qualifying bad," he said. "If I can qualify up front, I think we will be in real good shape. I almost won a race there. We started 32nd and moved up to fourth by lap 50."
The car that Hamilton will be racing at Dover is the same Chevy in which he has claimed three top-15 finishes this season -Bristol (8th), Darlington (9th) and Rockingham (13th).
"I feel good about this car," Hamilton continued. "They've qualified well with this car there in the past and it's has some good runs. Generally, more times than not, looking at APR's past there, we've usually run pretty good. I'm more excited about going up there because of this car than I am because of the racetrack.
"Dover always lends itself to a good finish no matter how bad the day. A team can be off a little bit and just by being consistent they will usually pull out a good finish. There's a lot of racecars that can be really inconsistent there, which plays into the rest of our benefits."
Once again Hamilton will be without teammate Joe Nemechek, who is recovering from injuries received in an accident during practice at Dover. But he will race side by side with his son, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., who is driving the No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevy in relief of Nemechek for the third week in a row.
"We always look for a reason to spend more time together," said Hamilton. "As much as I want Joe well and back on the racetrack, this opportunity is interesting for me. It's allowed me to spend more time watching Bobby, Jr. grow in this sport."
The 400-lap MBNA Platinum 400 will air live on FOX Sunday, June 3rd at 1 p.m. EST.