Kansas: Hamilton Jr Cup debut interview

Bobby Hamilton, Jr. will be making his 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup debut tomorrow in the No. 35 Wawa/Marines Taurus after qualifying 18th. Hamilton, Jr. will be making his 13th NWC career start and first since 2001 when he ran three races for...

Bobby Hamilton, Jr. will be making his 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup debut tomorrow in the No. 35 Wawa/Marines Taurus after qualifying 18th. Hamilton, Jr. will be making his 13th NWC career start and first since 2001 when he ran three races for Andy Petree and seven events for Morgan-McClure. He is still looking for his first top 10 finish.

BOBBY HAMILTON, JR. - No. 35 Wawa/Marines Taurus

YOU'VE HAD GOOD SUCCESS HERE IN THE BUSCH SERIES.

"We have. I think it's because I like the bigger, faster places more than I do the smaller tracks. Harold builds the cars for that type of speed and we have our certain type of cars we bring to these places. This is the same car we had at Chicago and Kentucky and the cars just set themselves up. That's how cool the cars are and having them here makes it easier to drive. You can get on the gas a whole lot earlier and you can get off the gas a lot later than most guys. You can just beat 'em all around, so we just have the type of package that we need. We've got great motors and a great aero package and Harold, with all the experience he has, you really can't lose."

WHAT ABOUT THE CUP RACE TOMORROW. DO YOU FEEL LIKE DAVID VS. GOLIATH?

"No. We're just testing the waters. We're trying to work on sponsorship to go in 2005 and we're just trying to test and see what we need and where we can help ourselves. It also kind of helps our Busch program. We came out here and tested and unloaded fastest over on the Busch side, so if anybody says the Cup stuff doesn't help these guys, they're crazy because I'm a big believer in it. Like today, we get two hours of extra practice more than those guys over there, so we're using all of this for everything we can. It helps learn with our Busch stuff and also, like I said, just testing the waters in Winston Cup."

HOW BIG OF A DIFFERENCE IS IT TO RACE BUSCH AND THEN WINSTON CUP?

"Well, you've got 43 guys over here and you're in the mix with them. There are only 43 of us in the whole world doing NASCAR Winston Cup racing. I think there are billions and billions of people in the world and there are only 43 of us, so that explains it all. And then there is the Busch Series, so there are 86 total people who get to do this and you're right in the middle of that and that makes you feel good. You have Jeff Gordon and you have Dale Earnhardt, Jr. - all these guys - and that kind of intimidates you, but once you get on the race track and if you have a decent car to run with, it's not so bad. You kind of say to yourself, 'This isn't so bad. I can halfway do this.' And then all of a sudden five of them will pass you and you'll say, 'Where did they come from?' It can really put you in your place at times. You can be fast, fast over on the Busch side and then you come over here and you struggle. That's just the type of teams they have over here and that's why I'm saying that we're just here testing things out and trying to see where we can help ourselves over there and see what we need to do to make it better over here."

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR TOMORROW?

"If we can get out of here with a top 20, it would be like a win. We're gonna try to win today in the Busch Series and then try to come back over here and finish in the top 20 without tearing anything up. That would be like a win for us."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Andy Petree