CHARLOTTE, N.C., (April 10, 2001) - Nashville (Tenn.) native Bobby Hamilton will pilot the ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (April 10, 2001) - Nashville (Tenn.) native Bobby Hamilton will pilot the #1 Yellow Racing Pontiac in Saturday's Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series event at Nashville Superspeedway.
Hamilton signed a one-race deal with Phoenix Racing owner James Finch. The 43-year-old driver replaces Jimmy Spencer who has a previous engagement with his family. Spencer will return to the #1 Yellow Racing team April 21 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity to race in my hometown during the NASCAR Winston Cup Series off-weekend," said Hamilton, who drives the #55 Chevrolet. "That's where my fan base started. On top of that, I just thought it was appropriate that my kid (Bobby Hamilton, Jr., driver of the #26 Chevrolet) and I race in the track's first event. I hope there will be some people pulling for the hometown boy - that's the older hometown boy.
"Being from Nashville, I thought it was important to help promote my hometown track," said Hamilton. "It's a great facility that will make for good racing. I helped the Superspeedway with the groundbreaking ceremonies as well as some other things. Racing in our hometown is the closest thing NASCAR drivers get to a vacation. It's nice to go to a track where I'm going to recognize a lot of faces."
The local natives won't be the only faces that Hamilton recognizes in Nashville. Hamilton is familiar with the members of the Yellow Racing team. Something that he believes will facilitate a smooth transition into the driver's seat of the #1 Yellow Racing Pontiac.
"I've known Marc (Reno, crew chief) and Johnny (car chief) Allen for a while now," said Hamilton. "I won't have much to worry about because I know that they have good people at Phoenix Racing. Their race cars are always fast and the team performs well every week. The biggest adjustment is putting the seat in the race car."
While Hamilton will be comfortable with his race personnel this weekend, the biggest question for the Pepsi 300 will be how he and the race squad adapt to the new 1.33-mile tri-oval.
"It will be interesting to see how teams adapt to the new facility," said Hamilton. "With a few exceptions, teams haven't tested on the track. We're all starting on the same page. I don't think Winston Cup drivers will have an advantage in this race. At other tracks, we might have more laps. This weekend at Nashville will be everyone's first chance to race at the superspeedway."