Bobby Hamilton Ready to Crack Top Ten

Hamilton primed to crack top-10 By Shawn A. Akers DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 12, 1998) Momentum is a great thing to have coming down the stretch of the NASCAR Winston Cup season, and Bobby Hamilton is riding a strong wave of it. ...

Hamilton primed to crack top-10 By Shawn A. Akers

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 12, 1998) Momentum is a great thing to have coming down the stretch of the NASCAR Winston Cup season, and Bobby Hamilton is riding a strong wave of it. After a slow start to the 1998 season, the driver of the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet has put himself in a strong position to finish in the top-10 of the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. Following a 15th-place run in the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Hamilton finds himself in 11th place, just 22 points behind 10th-place John Andretti for the final spot on stage at the NASCAR Winston Cup post-season banquet in New York City in December.

And the next few races certainly won't dim Hamilton's confidence. This Saturday, he'll go to a race track -- Daytona International Speedway -- that his Morgan McClure Motorsports team historically has done well at. The next two weeks, he'll go back to tracks that he's already won at -- Phoenix and Rockingham -- and then he'll finish the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NAPA 500.

Hamilton is currently 67 points behind ninth-place Terry Labonte in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings, and 101 points behind eighth-place Dale Earnhardt.

"We're fighting hard for that top-10," Hamilton said. "We still have a great shot at finishing in the top-eight, and we're going to do everything we can to get there. We think this Kodak Max Film Chevrolet has a great shot at having at fantastic run at Daytona."

The Morgan-McClure Motorsports team has put a car in victory lane at Daytona five times in the 1990s (Ernie Irvan twice, Sterling Marlin three times). In his first-ever points race in the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet, Hamilton finished 12th in the Daytona 500 in February. Like Talladega last Sunday, this Saturday night's Pepsi 400 will be another superspeedway delight for the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team, and Hamilton says he's ready again for the challenge of another restrictor-plate race.

"This is another of those races where you can go from the back to the front or vice-versa in nothing flat," Hamilton said. "At Talladega, we started 37th and got up to fifth, and then went from 41st to fifth. We were in the middle of the pack, and, two laps later, we were racing the guys who had been leading. Things change in a hurry. Things happen in a hurry. Good decisions and staying out of trouble play a big, big role in how you finish at Daytona and Talladega."

To add another wrench to the equation, Saturday's Pepsi 400 will be the first NASCAR Winston Cup race ever run at night at Daytona International Speedway.

"I guess the simple way to look at the night race coming up at Daytona is you do the same things you do during the day, only you do them at night," Hamilton said. "The only real difference is there are a few new problems that night racing causes. "The biggest thing obviously is sight. The lights are great there, as good as any stadium in the country. But the reflection off the cars gives you something new to play with, and it does have some bearing on depth perception. The spotters have a little bit more difficult a time because of that, too, but, for the most part, you forget all of that and go racing."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Bobby Hamilton , Ernie Irvan , Terry Labonte , Sterling Marlin