FORT WORTH, Tex. (April 1, 2001) - Bobby Hamilton and the Square D Racing Team salvaged a top-20 finish landing in 18th for the Harrah's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Although the team had to work overtime in the event, the labor paid off as they...
FORT WORTH, Tex. (April 1, 2001) - Bobby Hamilton and the Square D Racing Team salvaged a top-20 finish landing in 18th for the Harrah's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Although the team had to work overtime in the event, the labor paid off as they jumped up one more position in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points battle to seventh.
After starting fourth on the grid, the Square D pilot faced troubles early as he cut a tire on lap 27. Upon inspecting the tire, the team realized that the Goodyear Eagle had three holes from debris on the racetrack. A quick fix in the pits remedied the problem, but placed the No. 55 Chevy two laps down.
When the caution was thrown on lap 34 Bobby flew the Chevy nicknamed "Ragdoll" passed the leader, Steve Park, to gain one of his laps back.
Misfortune continued and on lap 100, Bobby radioed that his clutch was going out. Jimmy (Elledge, crew chief) made note of the problem, but the team had to wait until a caution was thrown on lap 206, again allowing Hamilton to return to the pits. With the spotter Bart Creasman informing Elledge of the pace car's status, the team brought Bobby in three times to avoid losing another lap. At every stop, the crew worked overtime, pushing Bobby out of the stall to give him the necessary jumpstart to exit the pit.
"We had some major teamwork today," stated Hamilton. "Having the flat tire is not what we wanted, but the guys stayed with it and gave me an awesome race car. Today we had our share of heartache, but the guys stayed patient with Ragdoll and we ended up with a top 20 and moved up in the points.
"You know you flip that mental switch because you're concerned about consistency and don't want to do anything to lose that position in the points race," continued Hamilton. "I know that we had one of the top-10 cars here because our lap times were so fast. I'm really pleased with the guys and the kind of cars they build for me - it helps keep our momentum going week after week. I've finished 16th here before, but today is by far the best run I've ever had."
Dale Jarrett took the checkered flag in today's event. Steve Park, Johnny Benson, Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five, respectively.