CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Aug. 15, 2001) -- The NASCAR Winston Cup Series' efforts to even out the field between manufacturers has not been determined since Dodge was given the difference in its front fenders two weeks ago. Bobby Hamilton and the Square D...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Aug. 15, 2001) -- The NASCAR Winston Cup Series' efforts to even out the field between manufacturers has not been determined since Dodge was given the difference in its front fenders two weeks ago. Bobby Hamilton and the Square D Racing Team are anxious to test their new addition to the No. 55 fleet against the new Dodge rules at Michigan International Speedway for the Pepsi 400.
"We are not sure if it has given them an advantage against the Chevys or not. Basically, we went from Indianapolis to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) and a Chevy won both of those races," Hamilton said. "Michigan will be a better test for the Dodges to run against the other manufacturers. In Indy, we saw that they were able to compete with us more, but we didn't see that win that we've all been expecting. I'm anxious to see if it gives the Chevrolets a disadvantage at tracks that are set up like Michigan. If it does, then what?"
Michigan has previously been labeled as a Ford dominated track. The Square D Chevrolet that will compete on the two-mile oval is from APR (Andy Petree Racing) teammate Joe Nemechek's stall. The switch came before Indy -- the No. 55 team swapped their best race car for the No. 33 team's best.
Elledge surprised Hamilton in the hauler at Watkins Glen by suggesting to take the car to Michigan. Even though he was caught off guard by the car choice, Hamilton with a grin, agreed to take the car.
"We raced that car in Indy. It gave us a chance to test it out and see what it could do. I think that it's going to be a pretty good car for us, especially in Michigan," Hamilton said. "It's been raced before many times and had some top-10 finishes.
"I think the body on that car will give us some of the extra support we've been looking for at these type of tracks. These cookie cut tracks (meaning that there were many of the same type of track on the circuit) seem to be the ones that we've been struggling at so far this year. If we take this chassis to Michigan it may be the extra help that we need," Hamilton concluded.
Elledge stated his case for the newly acquired ride in Michigan. "We've needed an extra edge at these type of tracks. After all the testing we've done trying to help the program, maybe this car will help us move forward. Right now we're gearing up to try out as many things as possible to boost up our stats.
"At this point in the season, it is important for our team to stay on the up and up. We're ready to regain that status of running up front every week. Testing helped us with many different combinations in the search for the extra speed," Elledge concluded.
The 200 --lap Pepsi 400 will air live on TBS Sun., Aug. 19th at 1 p.m. EST. <pre> Bobby Hamilton's Michigan Performance Profile
Year Event Start Finish 2001 Kmart 400 38 22
2000 Kmart 400 41 43 Pepsi 400 41 14
1999 Kmart 400 38 31 Pepsi 400 40 35
1998 Miller Lite 400 19 38 Pepsi 400 24 20
1997 Miller 400 24 32 DeVilbiss 400 35 26
1996 Miller 400 1 15 GM Goodwrench Dealer 400 5 13
1995 Miller Genuine Draft 400 12 25 GM Goodwrench Dealer 400 11 8
1994 Miller Genuine Draft 400 42 41
1992 Miller Genuine Draft 400 16 31 Champion Spark Plug 400 16 15
1991 Miller Genuine Draft 400 29 22 Champion Spark Plug 400 36 19