Darlington: Bobby Hamilton preview

Bobby Hamilton debuts new paint scheme in Darlington. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 13, 2002) - Over the years Darlington Raceway has been labeled as the "Lady in Black." This weekend for the Carolina Dodge Dealer's 400, it won't be the only black...

Bobby Hamilton debuts new paint scheme in Darlington.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 13, 2002) - Over the years Darlington Raceway has been labeled as the "Lady in Black." This weekend for the Carolina Dodge Dealer's 400, it won't be the only black beast on the 1.366-mile oval. Bobby Hamilton will debut a new black paint scheme on his No. 55 Schneider Electric Chevrolet. The Chevy will display a large green Schneider Electric "S" logo on the hood in an effort to give the Andy Petree Racing Chevy a more distinct appearance on the race track.

But Hamilton certainly doesn't need to draw attention to his race car in Darlington by changing the paint scheme. His stellar performances there should speak for themselves. In four out of the last six Winston Cup races, Hamilton has finished in the top ten. To add to his Darlington profile, Hamilton won there last spring, by dominating almost the entire NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

Driver Bobby Hamilton discusses what makes Darlington so finicky.

That's a race track where we have to be so careful where we pass. It is a driver's race track for sure. We concentrate on racing the track instead of each other. It's a place that's been known to bite a driver at any given time. She's finicky, but tolerable if you know where and when to push yourself out there.

It's one of those places that I'm glad I have some experience under my belt. When I first started racing, I got the famous Darlington Stripe - more than once. But it doesn't take long to learn you don't want to do that again. So, we tend to watch how we get around that place. It just takes a certain kind of finesse, but once you learn it you know when and where to not push it.

Crew Chief Charley Pressley provides insight on how he can help Hamilton's impressive history at Darlington.

The first thing we'll do is put a car out there that Bobby is secure driving. We're taking the same car that we finished in the top ten with in Rockingham (N.C.) this year because the tracks are similar. He's comfortable driving that car and we have a good idea on how we're going to set it up to help him finish up front. There are no tricks to Darlington. Most of the work is placed on the driver and how he can get himself around that race track. Bobby knows his limits there and that's a big thing we have going for us.

One thing about Darlington is that you have to love racing there. In order to win, you have to want it and respect it. Everyone loves a winner and it's easy to keep your head up if you win. But when your runs are not as strong as you want them to be, your character gets tested. Our team has done an excellent job bouncing back from the turmoil we've been under in the first few races. We're keeping good attitudes. Between our morale and Bobby's driving skills, we'll turn this program around; maybe the new paint scheme will help bring some luck on our side.

-ser-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton