Atlanta: Bobby Hamilton preview

Bobby Hamilton Wants Atlanta Win Repeat "Atlanta is usually a good race for us. Last year I chose to run the high line during the race and my truck seemed faster up there. I don't always think that is the case, but I'm sure I will try it again...

Bobby Hamilton Wants Atlanta Win Repeat

"Atlanta is usually a good race for us. Last year I chose to run the high line during the race and my truck seemed faster up there. I don't always think that is the case, but I'm sure I will try it again this time. If it works, then I'll use it. If it doesn't, then I'll find another groove to race on. I'm usually pretty simple when it comes to my racing. I like the track and the speed that we have in Atlanta. It makes a great race for the fans. Last year's ending proved that. Mike (Skinner) and I raced each other clean, but went all out as hard as we could going for the win. It was a great ending, no matter who won."

Retiring: "I did an interview last week in the Tennessean newspaper with Larry Woody. In that I was asked about when I would retire. I made the comment back in passing that I was thinking about stepping down at the end of next season. Now, is that set in stone? Absolutely not. I might do it, but I won't leave my company with nothing. We are grooming young drivers to take the wheel and step up in our organization in time. One day I will decide to not drive anymore and be an owner. BHR is not in that place right now. We are looking for sponsors for 12 more races this year and hopefully someone will step up and do that. We have a tremendous program and have a lot to offer companies. If we get something in place and I can be an owner, then I will do that. If I need to keep driving and am still competitive, then I'll keep driving. I'm not making a formal announcement about it; that is not my style.JI said it in passing and it might happen, but it might not. It's really not that big of a deal."

Rule Change: NASCAR announced on Thursday an amendment to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book, which will now require body extension panels (side skirts) to be placed on the sides of the teams' trucks.

(Danny Rollins) "I think it's going to help all of us. It will give us more downforce. It's going to be an advantage for everyone. Since you have to go so hard into the corners in Atlanta, the side skirts will make the trucks stick more. It will make it more stable for the driver. NASCAR always has reasoning behind their rules, so we'll see the real result when the race starts in Atlanta."

Notes:

* Hamilton won the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race last year at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a last-lap pass by Mike Skinner who spun across the finish line behind Hamilton.J

* Hamilton will be racing Slim Shady on the 1.54-mile quad-oval. He won three races with it in 2004 and raced it over 15 times. In the second race of 2005, he raced Slim Shady in California and finished second.

Double Duty: "I'm going to attempt to run the Busch race in Atlanta on Saturday after the Craftsman Truck Series race. Danny Gill (Crew Chief) is really working hard on the car that the Sadlers own in Nashville and so I'm going to help them out for a few races. I'm not sure which ones yet, but I think we've discussed running eight or nine of them. The Daytona Busch race was fun. I was drafting with Tony Stewart and he hung me out. We usually work well together, so I had my spotter tell his spotter that I was driving the 95 car. Then Tony came back and drafted with me. He laughed after the race and said he had no idea who was in it, so he didn't want to take the chance. It's fun doing these deals only several times a year. It's enough to get out there and play around, but still be competitive."

Defending the Championship: "I walked into my shop right before Daytona and all my people were establishing goals. Immediately I stopped the meeting. We don't do that. We never had, and we're not going to start. What I mean by that is we're not going to do anything, if I have any control of it, to step outside of our little box. We've got a pretty successful thing going on. We've got a small partnership with some good engineers that nobody knows them and nobody can hire them. But, the minute you start stepping outside the box that makes you successful, you have to be really careful. You want to do so well, then the minute you do that, you start doing things different. I'm not saying that we don't care about winning another championship because we raced hard for the one we won last year. But, what got us there is solid finishes and that's what we're going to focus on this year."

-BHR

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Mike Skinner