CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 18, 2001) -This weekend during the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point Raceway, Bobby Hamilton looks forward to using the information he learned and the road racing skills he perfected in April during a test session at the ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 18, 2001) -This weekend during the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point Raceway, Bobby Hamilton looks forward to using the information he learned and the road racing skills he perfected in April during a test session at the tricky road course at Sonoma, Ca.
"This is the best road race car I've ever driven," Hamilton said while enroute to meet car owner Andy Petree and crew chief Jimmy Elledge for a presentation to Square D CEO Chris Richardson of a replica trophy from the Talladega victory. "This weekend will be our turn-around event. We've been working hard to get out of this slump that we seem to be in, but going to a road course will give us a break from the flat tracks for awhile. We'll stay up front if we can qualify well. Our focus is going to be getting that car dialed in for the qualifying run and the rest is holding on while running around the 10 turns there.
"The beauty part of the test session that we did there in April was that we had transmission guys and shocks consultants there with us," Hamilton continued. "We gained a lot of knowledge by doing that. It'll help us a lot on our road course program. Not many teams tested there this season, so it was good to get the track time. I really like racing there. I'm a big road course racing fan right now."
Hamilton has already established his road racing ability at Sears Point, finishing second to Jeff Gordon in 1998. He has four top-15 finishes in the 112-lap race on the 1.949-mile road course. In the past five years, Hamilton has averaged a 12th place finish. For the first road course event of 2001 Hamilton will depend on hometown hero Elledge for his qualifying and race setup. Elledge is a native of Redding, Ca, which is about 180 miles north of the track.
"When you set these cars up at other tracks, you usually have something to go by, but at Sears Point it's setup like no other on the circuit," Elledge said. "You seem to put it like a short track car, but you have to keep in mind that you turn left and right there. It's totally different from any other track, but I always enjoy going back to my hometown area.
"We gained so much knowledge at the test session. The adrenaline was pumping coming off that big win," Elledge continued. "Bobby seemed to feel good about the car and we tried a lot of different combinations while we were there. We feel like we're ahead of the game going into Sonoma.
"I like to go there because it's home for me, but the trip can be hard because it's so far away. We look forward to making that trek with Bobby considering how he performs at road courses. We anticipate a good weekend. <pre> The Dodge Save Mart 350 will air live on FOX Sunday, June 24th at 12:30 p.m. PT.
Bobby Hamilton's Sears Point Performance Profile
Year Event Start Finish 2000 Save Mart/Kragen 350K 14 14 1999 Save Mart/Kragen 350K 17 11 1998 Save Mart/Kragen 350K 6 2 1997 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 23 19 1996 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 19 17 1995 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 21 14 1994 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 30 33 1992 The Save Mart 300 25 34 1991 Banquet Frozen Foods 300 35 22