DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2000) With Speedweeks rapidly approaching, Morgan-McClure Motorsports driver Bobby Hamilton has initiated a new motto for the Kodak Max Film Chevrolet team. "Four for 4" is the motto that has a double meaning for the...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2000) With Speedweeks rapidly approaching, Morgan-McClure Motorsports driver Bobby Hamilton has initiated a new motto for the Kodak Max Film Chevrolet team. "Four for 4" is the motto that has a double meaning for the Tennessee native and his veteran crew as they begin a new decade, and millennium of racing.
Hamilton posted the second-fastest lap of the GM winter test sessions at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Jan. 18 with a speed of 186.908 mph., which placed him ninth fastest among all manufacturers. The hot laps added more confidence to the Morgan-McClure team as it tries to earn its fourth Daytona 500 win in 10 years in the No. 4 Chevrolet.
Morgan-McClure won the 1995 Daytona 500 with a newly-designed Monte Carlo, and expectations are running high for the debut of the 2000 Monte Carlo in the "Great American Race" on Feb. 20.
The second meaning to the "Four for 4" phrase is the four key elements that have been put into motion by the team. NASCAR's mandated shock package, the debut of the 2000 Monte Carlo, an updated look to the paint scheme and a new attitude adds a different beat to the team's tune.
"The shock rule has got you doing a lot of different stuff than you did in the past," Hamilton said. "I like the shock package a lot. We're real happy with it right now."
Hamilton would like nothing more than to add a superspeedway trophy to his collection. The former Nashville track champion recorded a Daytona career-best finish of eighth in the 1999 Pepsi 400.
Team owner Larry McClure has watched his driver steadily improve at NASCAR's two fastest tracks -- Daytona and Talladega -- the past two seasons. Along with engine builder Runt Pittman's powerful restrictor-plate engines, the four key elements should give the team the total package necessary to challenge for victory in the upcoming Daytona 500.
"Chevrolets have always run well in the draft at Daytona and Talladega, and we've won our share of races at those two tracks," McClure said. "We know it's going to be a competitive season, but we're going to hold our own against the top teams on the circuit this season. We won the 1995 Daytona 500 with a new Monte Carlo, and with a little luck, we think we've got a good chance to do it again. Hamilton and Robert Larkins (crew chief) have grown into a strong combination. The team is pumped."
Eastman Kodak Company continues its relationship with Morgan-McClure as the longest-running continuous primary sponsor on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The company has sponsored the No. 4 Chevrolet since 1986. In 2000, Kodak Max Film begins its third year as the featured product on the car, prominently displaying MAX film with a new look.
Shocks, cars and paint aren't the only updated items on Morgan-McClure's list. An upbeat air of confidence surrounds the Abingdon, Va.-based team.
"We rearranged some stuff over the winter and got everybody working together a lot better," said Hamilton, who is entering his third season behind the wheel of the No. 4 Chevy. "The Daytona test was real organized and everything went smooth. Everything was in black and white, and it hasn't been that way."
As Hamilton and company continue focusing on "Four for 4" at Daytona, they're hoping 42 other cars will see nothing but their taillights when the black and white checkered flag falls on the final lap.