Martinsville: Bobby Hamilton preview

Hamilton calls Martinsville a small restrictor plate race. Small Restrictor Plate Race "Martinsville is a disciplined race track. I call it a small restrictor-plate race. I know that sounds funny, but it requires the same amount of...

Hamilton calls Martinsville a small restrictor plate race.

Small Restrictor Plate Race

"Martinsville is a disciplined race track. I call it a small restrictor-plate race. I know that sounds funny, but it requires the same amount of discipline as Daytona does. You have to worry about things like keeping the nose on the truck or the brake ducts in good condition. You can't cave the grill in on it or it will bend the duct work around it. It's hard on rear ends, transmissions and motors. About every gauge in the truck has to stay cool and that is very vital to a good race. Track position and pit work is as important as a good truck is there."

Endurance Pays Off

"This race track is the type of place that you can't let up. You have to go fast through the middle of the corner on a small track, but a truck will only run well in the middle of the corner if it's free. But then all of a sudden you can't push the accelerator down because the truck is too free. So when you get the truck where you can push the accelerator down, then it won't turn in the middle. It gets monotonous. It's a driver's-type race track. You know where you need to give to gain on the other end. Endurance and experience will definitely help anyone who races there. The more practice you have at a place like Martinsville, the better."

Secret's Out

"I told our team at the beginning of this year that we wanted to try to finish in the top five in every race this season. We decided to keep it a secret. But after I climbed from the truck in Bakersfield, I let it out. That means we are going full steam ahead to prove ourselves. If we finish some where around the top five every race, then I think we have reached a big landmark for our Square D Racing Team. I'm proud to say I own and drive for BHR."

Notes:

- Hamilton is the current point leader over driver Rick Crawford by 29 points.

- The Square D driver is the only driver in the Craftsman Truck Series circuit who has finished in the top five in all three of the Craftsman Truck Series races.

- He claims one Craftsman Truck Series win (2000) and one pole starting position (1996) at Martinsville Speedway.

- In 22 Winston Cup Series starts on the .526-mile oval, Hamilton claims one win (4/20/98) of which he won from the pole position, two poles, six top- five and eight top-10 finishes.

- Hamilton will be signing autographs on Saturday from 10:00 am - 10:30 am at the Dodge Motorsports souvenir trailer located outside the race track on souvenir row.

How Can He Help? "I go into the NASCAR hauler on the weekends that we race and ask if I can help out with this series. I want to make it bigger and better. I feel like there are a lot of really strong drivers in this series that make it the best one out there on the circuit. Little Bobby told me when I won Darlington that the truck series was fun. He was exactly right. It's my future and hopefully one for my family, so I want it to be the best racing on the circuit. And that means I want to help in any way I can."

In His Spare Time: Hamilton has been writing letters back and forth to students at Troutman Elementary School in North Carolina. The students, who are in Mrs. Smith's first grade class, wrote Hamilton letters as part of a class project. The letters included questions such as: "How much money do you make?", "Do you have a dog?" or "Are you scared in a race truck?" Hamilton wrote the class back answering their questions and even sent a Square D Racing stand-up poster of himself to the class. The stand-up is now displayed at the front of the classroom and students are awarded extra fun items if they can tell Mrs. Smith where Hamilton raced last. This weekend the class made Hamilton a good luck charm, which is a four leaf clover, a penny facing heads up and a smiley face taped to the back of his race truck, which will be displayed in the Square D Dodge for this weekend's race.

-bhr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Rick Crawford