Bobby Hamliton Darlingtom preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (March 14, 2001) - Holding steady in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points race in 12th position, Square D Racing driver Bobby Hamilton views Darlington (S.C.) as a another positive opportunity for the team. The Andy Petree Racing...

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (March 14, 2001) - Holding steady in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points race in 12th position, Square D Racing driver Bobby Hamilton views Darlington (S.C.) as a another positive opportunity for the team. The Andy Petree Racing (APR) team set standards before the Daytona (Fla.) 500 in February to be in the top 15 of the NASCAR Winston Cup standings and is proud to be achieving it's goals.

"We've got a pretty good deal going so far this year. Although we've had our share of mishaps, it seems to me that we've been pretty competitive," said Hamilton. "For every new team, there seems to be a learning curve that hinders them during the first part of the year. We seem as though we've made it through our learning curve battling with the best of them.

"For Darlington, we're taking the same car I drove in Rockingham (N.C.), which I really thought was competitive there. I usually run well on these types of speedways and I feel confident that this weekend won't be an exception. It's important to be high in the points race going into Darlington. I'm happy to be sitting where I am right now - on top of the goals we established before Daytona and ready to take on more in the future."

Hamilton's main focus for this weekend is another strong finish in the Square D Chevrolet. Focusing will be the key to dominating at the 1.366-mile oval.

"I feel like concentration will play an important role in our race on Sunday," said Hamilton. "Darlington can be grueling if you let it be, but it can also be an awesome race. My goals are to stay patient and move to the front, just like they are every week. There are some tracks that drivers feel more comfortable racing on and this is one of those tracks for me. I want to stay high in the points race all year long. So far, we're headed in the right direction. We just want to continue our success for the rest of the year."

On a safety related note, crew chief Jimmy Elledge and Hamilton are exploring the available safety devices like many other Winston Cup teams. The Square D duo is contemplating the HANS device as a new addition to the No. 55 Chevrolet for future race weekends.

"It's something that we're looking into right now," explained Elledge. "We tried a couple of things in the shop, but we're not confirmed on anything to this point. By this weekend we won't have anything in place, but we're looking to place some form of restraint in the car for Bobby sometime in the future. We want to do whatever is best for his safety, therefore this is a top priority.

"We tried a couple of different ways to make the HANS device work in our car, but time ran out before Darlington," continued Elledge. "We're getting the seat fixed and our goal is to make the HANS available for Bobby to race in Texas. The speeds there are very dangerous and it's important to keep the driver protected as much as we can."

-Lori Shuler

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Andy Petree