CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 6, 2001) - As the NASCAR Winston Cup Series gets rolling on its long summer swing through the country, Bobby Hamilton and the Square D Racing Team are keeping their focus on the championship points battle. After 13 races,...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 6, 2001) - As the NASCAR Winston Cup Series gets rolling on its long summer swing through the country, Bobby Hamilton and the Square D Racing Team are keeping their focus on the championship points battle. After 13 races, the team is holding strong at 11th, but adding an ambitious test schedule to their program in hopes of clawing back into the top-10. This weekend's Kmart 400 at Michigan International Speedway will find Hamilton and the crew competing on the two-mile oval with a brand-new Chevrolet.
"Michigan has always been and up and down racetrack for me," said Hamilton while on his way to pick up his tractor to mow his lawn. "I've led the race there, sat on the pole and started dead in the back. That time, I moved up to fourth or fifth, where I ran all day long until my shocks broke in the right rear. It's a rollercoaster track, but we're optimistic going into it. I feel like we've made a step in the right direction by testing this week. I hope that we're bringing back the stuff we've lost - simplicity."
Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge agreed with Hamilton about the benefit of testing. The Andy Petree Racing team spent Tuesday at Kentucky Speedway testing their flat-track racecars. The team left Kentucky with a notebook full of ideas for the upcoming races.
"We built this new car and we're trying some new things at Michigan this weekend," said Elledge. "We tested at Kentucky, spending about 10 hours with a car that had a lot of adjustable parts on it. We worked with some things and got some direction. Actually we're rescheduling another test session to go back to Kentucky to continue experimenting with some of the things we learned yesterday. Then we're looking at going to Lakeland (Fla.) to test right after Daytona (in July) and to test where the trucks race in Chicago (Chicago Motor Speedway) before we even try to test at Chicagoland Speedway.
"Yesterday we worked with some things that we've ignored in the past," continued Elledge. "This time we put some emphasis into working through problems instead of putting something on the car and saying ok it did this, which is not what I wanted it to do, so just take it off. Actually, we found some speed. I know we'll get better on flat tracks, but we're focusing on trying some other ideas.
"We tested with a car that had a lot of adjustment in the front end area where we could move control arms around and try a bunch of different things. This was to help us build a database on what does what. Our list of why and why not will help us for our Michigan trip this weekend. In California, which is similar to Michigan, we made some mistakes that we learned from. We're doing our homework and that transfers to good runs - starting this weekend hopefully."
The 200-lap Kmart 400 will air live on FX Sunday, June 10th at 1 p.m. EST.