CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 29, 2002) -- Dover Downs Speedway is known as the "Monster Mile," where the steep-banked concrete surface lends itself to 400 laps of rough racing. Driver Bobby Hamilton's spotter, Bart Creasman, thinks this weekend's MBNA ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 29, 2002) -- Dover Downs Speedway is known as the "Monster Mile," where the steep-banked concrete surface lends itself to 400 laps of rough racing. Driver Bobby Hamilton's spotter, Bart Creasman, thinks this weekend's MBNA Platinum 400 will separate the men from the boys.
Hamilton and Creasman have worked together at various points throughout Hamilton's driving career in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The duo has a stout history at the race track, and some very interesting stories. As a spotter Creasman also acts as a motivator, cracking jokes and coaching Hamilton over the radio to keep things alive. And for this weekend's race, driver, spotter and team are ready to bring this year alive for the No. 55 Schneider Electric Chevrolet. The veteran driver has logged seven top-10 finishes on the concrete oval, but will depend on Creasman to get him through some tight spots in the fast-paced race.
Bart, why do you say "It's time to separate the men from the boys?"
"The length of that race and the g-forces are hard on these drivers. It takes endurance to make it until the end and you have to be on top of your game to stay with it. So drivers have to give and take in order to keep up the whole race. Bobby has been known to run well there because he's good at tracks that depend on preserving your equipment. One time Bobby got out of the car and where he had pushed the gas down with his toes for so long, he tip toed around in circles on the pavement.
"I remember another story about Bobby racing in Dover. In 1993 he was in between rides. So we loaded up a car and took it to Dover. Bobby had a shot at the pole, but wrecked on the last lap of practice before qualifying. Some guys from Morgan-McClure's team came over and helped us put that car back together because we didn't have a back-up car. Bobby went out there, qualified, and raced on only four sets of tires when other teams went through 10 or 12 sets. He finished that race 10th simply by preserving his equipment and working his way patiently up front. See, that's how Bobby races. He is a smart, patient driver. And at Dover that's what it takes to get to victory lane at the end -- a little patience and luck."
Is Dover challenging for you to help Hamilton see around the track?
"It's the same way I spot in Bristol. I'm always looking in front of him. What I'm more worried about with him is getting run over from the back. That track is fast and everything happens so quickly. Drivers are on edge all day and looking to gain that one position any way they can. I don't really worry so much about Bobby because he can see what's going on around him. It's my job to watch in front of him or behind him to help him stay on his toes. If a wreck happens those drivers are pretty much on their own. That track doesn't have a lot of room for error. So it can be a big mess in front of you real quick."