CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Nov. 7, 2001)& ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Nov. 7, 2001)– One of Square D driver Bobby Hamilton’s special memories comes from Homestead-Miami Speedway, where the NASCAR Winston Cup series returns for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400. Last November’s Pennzoil 400 was Hamilton’s 300th Winston Cup race. In the same race, Hamilton’s son, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., made his first Winston Cup start.
Ironically, in this weekend’s Pennzoil 400, Hamilton Jr. will race the same No. 4 car that his father drove last year. Hamilton, of course, will drive his No. 55 Square D Chevy on Sunday. Hamilton, Jr. is finishing out the season in the No. 4 Chevy. Hamilton, Sr. reflects on racing against his son.
"It’s neat to see how little Bobby is doing each week in that car. I’ve enjoyed getting to spend time with him and watch his racing career grow," Hamilton said. "The opportunities he’s had this season have been good for him. He’s been able to catch a glimpse of what it’s like in the Winston Cup series. I see the same racing fever in him that I do in myself. I think he’ll continue to grow in this sport and make an impact on the racetrack.
"But when it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter who you’re racing," Hamilton continued. "If your car is better, then you have no choice but to go for it. At that point in time, little Bobby becomes another driver that I’ll try to beat on the track."
This weekend’s Pennzoil 400 poses a different challenge for Hamilton, Sr. and the other Winston Cup drivers. With its long straightaways and sharp corners, the 1.5-mile oval provides a racing challenge that drivers compare to pushing a grocery cart at 160 mph down the aisles of a supermarket.
"Homestead is similar to no other track on the circuit," crew chief Jimmy Elledge said. "If you’re talking about flat tracks, then you have to mention Homestead. The key there is to be as fast as you can down the straightaway and then turn around. Being flat makes that hard to do with any kind of speed in the corner."
Hamilton continued, "It’s not always the best race for the fans. It’s tricky to get around, so the key is to stay smooth and drive the track. We can’t race side-by-side and we have trouble passing, so we have to race the track to be able to get to the front."
The Pennzoil 400 gets underway on Sunday Nov. 11, 2001. It airs live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. EDT.