Las Vegas: Bobby Hamilton preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 26, 2002) -- Schneider Electric Racing driver Bobby Hamilton and his Crew Chief, Charley Pressley, have such high hopes for a stellar performance in this weekend's UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 in Las Vegas that they're ready to...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 26, 2002) -- Schneider Electric Racing driver Bobby Hamilton and his Crew Chief, Charley Pressley, have such high hopes for a stellar performance in this weekend's UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 in Las Vegas that they're ready to bet the house. The 44-year-old Nashville, Tenn., native, who tested fastest at the 1.5-mile oval in January, will be teaming up with a fan for a chance to win the Winston No Bull Five million dollars.

On top of his normal racing duties, Hamilton will also appear trackside at Dewalt's Rolling Thunder display at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. The drill competition will pit Hamilton, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Hammond against any fan who thinks he can beat the NASCAR veterans' time.

This is the first time you and sponsor Schneider Electric have been eligible for the Winston No Bull Five money. Will you prepare differently for this event?

We've done some more pre-race planning than we normally do for events. We chose to use Vegas as one of our test sessions for the No. 55 Chevy. We test several places throughout the off season, but felt that Vegas was important because we really didn't run well at those types of tracks last year. The No Bull Five competition means a lot to our program and to the lucky fan that is paired up with me, so I want to make sure we give it our best shot at winning that money. I'll prepare for the race the same way I always do simply because I want to win every week. We just hope that Vegas will be our first, but not the only, win for the year.

How do you feel the test session will help you in Vegas?

We tested two cars there and picked the best out of the two. This car has only been raced one time, in Michigan last year, and didn't seem to run very well there. So we thought the combination of the downforce and aero package on this car might be the right one for Vegas. We tested two days there and it seemed to run well on the track's surface. I like the feel of it. When I left Vegas, I felt like this car was more comfortable than any other car I had raced with there. We didn't concentrate on the qualifying runs, but strictly on our setup for the race. Charley is strong at tracks like Vegas and that will hopefully make a good combination for us.

Do you feel like the one engine rule will affect you there?

Not really. When we raced at Rockingham (N.C.) last weekend, we didn't push the motors as hard there as we will at other races. It'll be the same way in Vegas. We'll practice for qualifying making two laps at a time, and then we'll put our race setup on the car. After we do that, we'll be smart when we practice and preserve the motor. It's a short race there, so the real test will be when we race next weekend in Atlanta.

On Saturday you will not only be practicing your race strategy, trying to win the million dollars, but you will also be drilling some screws for the Dewalt Million Dollar Challenge. How can fans try their hand to beat you?

Before I ever became a race car driver, I worked on race cars for people. I'm pretty fast with all different kinds of tools and now fans get a chance to compete not only against me, but also Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton and Jeff Hammond. It's going to be a fun deal we're doing with Dewalt. Saturday morning at eight I'll be drilling screws at the Rolling Thunder display outside the track, which will be opened to all race fans. My time will be judged and posted throughout the day for fans to compete against. The best part is the person with the fastest time wins a million dollars. It's a big deal to be involved with and we expect a big crowd. I just wish I had a chance for the million dollars myself!

-ser-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Bobby Hamilton , Matt Kenseth