Bobby Hamilton Talladega preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (April 17, 2001) - Picking up the pace after a rare weekend off, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to Alabama for this weekend's Talladega 500-the second time this season teams will battle with restrictor plates on their ...

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (April 17, 2001) - Picking up the pace after a rare weekend off, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to Alabama for this weekend's Talladega 500-the second time this season teams will battle with restrictor plates on their engines.

Last year, the Square D Racing Team posted its highest finish of the season when driver Kenny Wallace finished second in the Winston 500, the October race at Talladega. The team reopens its superspeedway notebooks this weekend, making comparisons with the similar track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where driver Bobby Hamilton kicked off the 2001 season with an eighth-place finish. But it takes more than skill to win at Talladega's 2.66-mile oval. It takes luck.

"So many things control your destiny at a racetrack like Talladega," Hamilton said. "If we're around at the end, we'll be in contention for the win. The key to winning on the superspeedway races is keeping yourself around good cars all day. It doesn't take much of a slip to cause a pretty big problem there. But I think the way the rules are, especially at Talladega, that it's tough to get in trouble. They've got the cars driving pretty well.

"I'll trust teammate Joe (Nemechek), but he'll be the only one I do while I race there," Hamilton continued, resting with his feet up in the hauler between double-duty action in the Craftsman truck and Winston Cup events at Martinsville, Va. "When that green flag drops we'll be trying to get to the front, but staying patient and not making any quick moves is the ticket. If you're running well they'll come to you anyhow. That 's what we need to work on when we unload.

"If we draft well with others, be smart, run smooth and prove in our practice runs that we're not scaring people to death, these guys will usually work with us right off the bat. Then we won't have to cut a deal. That's where we want to be for Talladega."

Spotter Bart Creasman added his thoughts about coaching Bobby to the front, with or without the help of the buddy system.

"I'll be looking for the advertisement these drivers make when they put these cars three and four wide in the turns," Bart said, sitting on the counter in the team hauler as the trucks practiced at Martinsville. "These drivers get anxious, but patience is the key. You can't depend on anyone there, so having a good car powered by a patient, smart driver is the answer to victory lane."

Hamilton's desire to win is burning brighter than ever following his fourth-place finish in the Virginia 500 at Martinsville on April 8. , "I want to win worse than I ever have," he told reporters after the race. "This team has given me a taste of how good we can run and it's time to put the Square D Chevy in the winner's bracket."

The 188-lap Talladega 500 will air live on FOX Sunday, April 22 at 1 p.m. EST. <pre> Bobby Hamilton's Talladega Performance Profile

      Year Event                Start   Finish
      2000 Diehard 500          28      43
           Winston 500          19      36
      1999 Diehard 500          35      31
           Winston 500          23      9
      1998 Diehard 500          30      30
           Winston 500          37      15
      1997 Winston Select 500   35      31
           Diehard 500          34      20
      1996 Winston Select 500   39      11
           Diehard 500          37      17
      1995 Winston Select 500   30      15
           Diehard 500          39      21
      1994 Winston Select 500   39      12
           Diehard 500          42      22
      1992 Winston 500          34      20
           Diehard 500          31      24
      1991 Winston 500          14      12
           Diehard 500          16      34

-SqD-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Kenny Wallace