Bobby Hamilton tours NASA facilities. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 2, 2002) -- Before the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Schneider Electric driver Bobby Hamilton and his crew chief, Jimmy Elledge, have the opportunity of a lifetime --...
Bobby Hamilton tours NASA facilities.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 2, 2002) -- Before the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Schneider Electric driver Bobby Hamilton and his crew chief, Jimmy Elledge, have the opportunity of a lifetime -- tour the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The duo got the chance because their sponsor, Square D, supplies electrical equipment for the Kennedy Space Center. Hamilton and Elledge will meet an astronaut at the space center and take a behind-the-scenes tour around the NASA facilities.
At 3:30 pm on Wednesday, Hamilton will go to the Rocket Garden where he will meet astronaut Mike Mullane, a veteran of three space flights. At this time Hamilton will be available for a question and answer session with the public.
Bobby this is such a tremendous opportunity. Is this a place that you have always wanted to visit?
"Going to tour the space facility is a tremendous deal for us. A long time ago I said that I wanted to tour a few places while I was traveling to all these race tracks. One of those places I wanted to visit was the space shuttle and the other was to fly in a fighter plane. It's a neat deal and to know that it has a tie in with Square D makes it that much more important to this racing program. It's not everyday that we get the opportunity to step outside of the racing realm and do something different from our regular appearance schedule. So it'll be pretty cool."
Bobby, if you weren't a race car driver would you consider being an astronaut?
"I think that job is one of the neatest things in the world to do. I would love to watch even one day of training that these guys do. I'm sure that we think things are so crazy in our little world of racing, but I can't even imagine what goes on in theirs. I'm not sure if I would really want to be an astronaut if I wasn't driving, but the thought of being around it has got me interested in what it actually takes for the shuttle to be launched."
Elledge, what do you think about having such a unique opportunity?
"We are fortunate to have a sponsor like Square D that supplies electrical equipment to tremendous companies. I have been looking forward to doing this tour for a long time. We've got it set up so we can do some behind-the-scenes things. This is the chance of a lifetime and I wouldn't miss it for the world. I'm sure it will be more than we can take in on just one visit there, but I'm going to do my best to take in as much as I can."
Bobby, how does it feel knowing that the Pepsi 400 means that the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Season is half over? Is this where you thought you would be?
"Not really, but I think we'll be alright. We've had some good performances taken away from us for reasons beyond our control. We started off the season with different personnel than last year and then after only a few races we switched around again. Every year the competition gets harder and harder. Teams have to jell from the beginning so they don't get behind on their game plan. It's hard to start off one way and then switch to another after only a few races. But you can't dwell on the bad. All we can do is start from where we are now and build on that. We have a good car that we've tested in the wind tunnel and at Talladega. So I hope that we can start off the second half of the season on a good note."