CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 16, 2001) -Nashville (TN) native, Bobby Hamilton has placed the upcoming two weeks of racing in Charlotte, N.C. on his list of important events for the 2001 season. The 17th annual The Winston is slated for this weekend at ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 16, 2001) -Nashville (TN) native, Bobby Hamilton has placed the upcoming two weeks of racing in Charlotte, N.C. on his list of important events for the 2001 season. The 17th annual The Winston is slated for this weekend at Lowes Motor Speedway, and considered to be a trial for the following weekend's Coca-Cola 600.
This is the first time that Andy Petree Racing is locked into a guaranteed starting spot in The Winston with the No. 55 Square D Chevy. The win at Talladega, Ala. last month put Hamilton into the competition for the fourth time in his career.
"It's always pretty neat to be in that race because you have to win to be able to participate. Like the song says, there's a first time for everything," said Hamilton from his truck racing shop in Nashville, where the phones were ringing off the hook with calls of congratulations for Hamilton's victory Saturday in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Darlington, S.C. "We're carrying a big gun there. We feel like we've got a real good motor and a brand new car. We're wanting to have a good showing there, but it's actually somewhat of a test for us with this new Chevy. It's really the only nighttime test we'll have available before the (Coca-Cola) 600. We want to get ready for the (Coca-Cola) 600, but at the same time we'd like to be up front and win the Winston.
"I've always liked Charlotte's racetrack. It might be the media hype that comes with racing there, but that's a place where I've always wanted to win. I really like the way they do things," continued Hamilton. "It's home for all the (Winston) Cup teams except mine, but still it's like racing in my own back yard. For me personally, there's something about the racetrack that I've always liked. It's always stuck out in my mind that it would be one I'd like to win."
To help Hamilton reach his goal, the Square D Racing Team has prepared a Chevrolet with the lightning bolt paint scheme used exclusively at the night races. This particular car brings nine lives to the 70 lap all-star race on the 1.5-mile quad-oval.
"We originally built this car for Las Vegas, but didn't like how the body turned out. So we started over several more times before we decided on the ninth body that is on it now," said crew chief Jimmy Elledge, who captured the checkered flag for the second time in four weeks last weekend with the Square D Racing Team as they joined Hamilton for the Darlington truck victory. "It was an extensive R&D project. We wanted to build a better body than our best car, so we kept working with it until we built this one. We'll see how it runs in the Winston to determine if it is race ready for the Coca-Cola 600."
The Winston's race format is different from the other races on the Winston Cup circuit. . This weekend's event is a non-points race.
Qualifying will take place on Friday, May 18th at approximately 8pm. Teams will compete against each other by making a four-tire pit stop at the start of a three-lap qualifying run. The total time determines the starting order for the event.
On Saturday the 19th, the last 20 drivers who have won points races in the past two years will compete against each other in The Winston in three different segments. The cars will drive 30 laps, then take a 10- minute break. Fans who voted online at NASCAR.com will determine how many positions in the field (between six and twelve) will be inverted before the next segment of 30 laps. Following the second segment, pit road will be opened if teams wish to pit, but they will lose their track position if they do. All restarts in The Winston will be double-file, with the first row consisting of cars running first and second, second row consisting of cars running third and fourth, and so on. Cars not on the lead lap will restart behind all lead-lap cars. Only green flag laps will count. The third segment--a final 10-lap shootout--will determine the winner in this year's Winston.
The event will air live on FX Saturday, May 19 at 8 p.m. EST. The telecast begins at 5 p.m. EST. <pre> Bobby Hamilton's Winston Performance Profile
Year Event Start Finish 1999 The Winston 10 12 1998 The Winston 13 9 1997 The Winston 13 20