Halloween in May? It might sound a bit bazaar, but night racing at the .750-mile track in Richmond, Va., creates such an atmosphere for Bobby Hamilton, driver of the No.4 Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo. Returning to Richmond International Raceway to...
Halloween in May? It might sound a bit bazaar, but night racing at the .750-mile track in Richmond, Va., creates such an atmosphere for Bobby Hamilton, driver of the No.4 Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo.
Returning to Richmond International Raceway to compete in the Pontiac Excitement 400 is something that Hamilton and Morgan-McClure Motorsports look forward to every year. Out of 17 starts at the facility that is labeled an in between track, Hamilton has posted three top-fives and eight top-10s. His best NASCAR Winston Cup finish at Richmond is fourth in this race one year ago.
"Richmond is a good track for me. We finished fourth there last year. I sat on the truck pole (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) in the fall last year and won a BGN race there in 1989. I like the facility, the slick track, the whole atmosphere," Hamilton said.
"We run fast for the size of the track. We can run around the place three-wide easy. The entire racing surface is used. Richmond is an in between track. It's a real fast short track and a slow intermediate track.
"It's a slick track, and that makes for exciting racing. It also makes the playing field more equal. More of the race is put into the driver's hands, which makes for some good old-fashioned, pure racing. Everyone sees a much more competitive race.
"I really like night racing. The whole team likes night racing. It just brings out more in people," the Nashville, Tenn., native added with a slight smirk. " I would compare night racing to Halloween. It brings out different attitudes and personalities in people. Maybe it draws out a more beastly, competitive nature."
"The whole atmosphere surrounding the track at night turns electrifying. With several upcoming night races in May, I guess we could have Halloween in May this year."
The Abingdon, Va., based team also looks forward to racing at Richmond in front of the Virginia fans.
"Hamilton and Morgan-McClure Motorsports have notoriously run well at Richmond. We're excited about racing in front of the Virginia crowd. Fans always see good side-by-side racing there. It's an exciting race for everyone with all of the bumping and rubbing that goes on out on the track. The tight corners make for a busy evening," car owner, Larry McClure added.
The team comes off of an 18th-place finish in the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway. They moved up to 25th in the point standings.
"We're taking our California car to Richmond. The car is lighter, it responds well to the changes we make on it. We unloaded off the truck at California fastest," Hamilton said.
"The team had thought about taking last year's Richmond car back to the track, but we feel we're carrying a better race car there. We finished fourth with the other one, so maybe we can improve a couple of positions with this particular car."