BUSCH: Richmond II: Ford - Hamilton Jr interview

This Week in Ford Racing September 2, 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Bobby Hamilton, Jr., driver of the No. 25 Taurus, has posted two wins this season, but prior to last week's fourth-place finish at Darlington, the 25-year-old Tennessee native had...

This Week in Ford Racing
September 2, 2003

NASCAR Busch Series

Bobby Hamilton, Jr., driver of the No. 25 Taurus, has posted two wins this season, but prior to last week's fourth-place finish at Darlington, the 25-year-old Tennessee native had three finishes of 25th or worse in four races. Despite those finishes, however, Hamilton, has remained in sixth place in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings, and trails leader Scott Riggs by 321 heading into this weekend's race at Richmond.

BOBBY HAMILTON, JR. -25-Team Marines Ford Taurus:

SINCE TEAMING WITH CREW CHIEF HAROLD HOLLY, YOU HAVE POSTED TWO WINS AND CURRENTLY SIT A SEASON-HIGH SIXTH PLACE IN THE POINT STANDINGS. PUT INTO WORDS WHAT HAROLD HAS MEANT TO THIS TEAM.

"He gets the cars driving so good. In bad air, good air, no matter what kind of air it is, I can pass cars. I can go to the outside, the inside, and he keeps the people so jacked up. When he speaks, they all stop what they're doing and listen. He's just one of these people that whatever he says, there's never a doubt; you just believe 100 percent. So much knowledge, tons of victories, a championship, it's just like I said, he's got the team so fired up when talks. He makes sense on everything. He's just got the guys so jacked up right now that I can think they can go right into war and take some bullets if they have to."

HOW WAS THE DECISION TO HIRE HOLLY REACHED?

"It was pretty much a decision by everybody to try to make the team a little better, and everybody figured the best way to do it was to make the change. We talked about it and what we thought could make the team better was bringing in Harold Holly. The transition process hasn't really slowed us down like I thought it would. It was something we had to do to go from a top-10 or top-five team to a winning team every weekend, a championship-winning team. He's already come over and made a ton difference in the guys - a difference in their attitudes and the way their approach their work. The car drives so much different, so much better."

THE NEXT STRETCH OF RACES ARE AT VENUES WHERE YOU HAVE EXCELLED IN THE PAST, BUT YOU TRAIL FIFTH PLACE BY 242 POINTS. ARE YOU STILL IN THE POINTS RACE?

"The last time I talked about points, I lost 300 points in three weeks. We're here to win races, and we're getting back on that track and you better watch the mirror because we're coming. It's the time of the year right now, the stretch that is coming, that ever since I've been racing it's when we pick up things. Every week we want to keep moving up in the standings. We were down in the 20s early in the season. A lot of teams got lucky in the beginning of the year with pit strategy and they're starting to become their normal teams. We've passed a handful of them and we're not going to quit either because there are several teams ahead of us that our team is better than."

YOU HAVE HAD MORE INTERACTION WITH YOUR FATHER THIS YEAR AT THE RACE TRACK, WHETHER IT'S YOU SITTING ON HIS PIT BOX FOR THE TRUCK RACES OR VICE VERSA. WITH HIS SWITCH TO THE NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES THIS YEAR HAS HE BEEN ABLE TO BECOME MORE INVOLVED IN YOUR RACING CAREER?

"He's had more time to do his own deal and to also be more involved with my schedule in racing. With the Cup schedule it just didn't work like that. He's back to having fun, and having fun for him is running 25 times like they do in the truck series and being able to be involved in my racing career. He's able to come out and hang out with us and blab on the radio and do his normal deal, back like we used to do in the Late Model days. It goes back to where everybody is trying to go back to their roots and have fun again. In this sport if you're not having fun you're not going to be in it too long."

ARE YOU HAVING FUN RACING IN YOUR CURRENT SITUATION?

"I'm pretty happy with this change. I think it's what we need to become a top-notch team in the Busch Series, so right now it was a change for the better and it's going to carry us to the next level. I hadn't even considered, even before this change, of leaving this team. Ed and Sam Rensi gave me a chance when no one else did. They put me on the map. We needed to grow again and Harold was a way we felt that we could grow and win races every week and be a contender every week. With the changes that we made and the stuff that Team Rensi gives me every week and the opportunity they give other people to come in here and win races, there's no end to it. They do whatever it takes to win races and that's the whole point. This isn't about making money, it's about winning races. Right no there's no reason for me to leave because I have everything I need to win races."

THERE HAS BEEN TALK ABOUT YOU DRIVING FOR YOUR FATHER SOME DAY. IS THERE ANY TIMETABLE ON WHEN THAT MIGHT OCCUR?

"It's been talked about. His whole truck operation is trying to build for a Cup team in the future. It won't be anytime soon, but when people ask me about it, I tell them that's what I want to do some day. There's no timetable for it. Whatever happens down the road happens. As of now, Ford has done a tremendous job of helping me out with wind tunnel information and engineering, trying to make me a better driver and to make Team Rensi a better team. I'm pretty much glued with where I'm at. As far as leaving Team Rensi or Ford, they've done more for me than anyone else has so I have roots here. That's not a bad thing. I'm happy with where I am at. If you're happy, you might as well stay put and try to win races and championships."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Scott Riggs