ES: Sadler-Hamilton Racing Iowa driver change announced

Solid Greenville NASCAR Camping World Run By Johns Puts Hamilton, Jr. On Sidelines For Iowa Event Sadler-Hamilton Racing Puts 100 Percent Effort Behind Johns, No. 59 Dodge Charger For May 18 Race NASHVILLE, TN (May 1, 2008) -- Bobby Hamilton,...

Solid Greenville NASCAR Camping World Run By Johns Puts Hamilton, Jr. On Sidelines For Iowa Event
Sadler-Hamilton Racing Puts 100 Percent Effort Behind Johns, No. 59 Dodge Charger For May 18 Race

NASHVILLE, TN (May 1, 2008) -- Bobby Hamilton, Jr. was planning on racing in the next NASCAR Camping World Series East Division event at Iowa Speedway, but after seeing the performance turned in by his Sadler-Hamilton Racing teammate Richard Johns at the last NCWE race at Greenville (SC) Speedway, the veteran driver knew it wouldn't be necessary for him to be on hand at Iowa May 18.

"The main reason I raced in the Greenville race was so we'd have two teams to bounce things off of," said Hamilton, Jr.(left), who qualified third but finished 28th after falling out with suspension problems. "As it turns out, Richard didn't need anything from me. He had one of the best cars out there. Because Richard did so well, there's really no reason for me to carry the No. 95 Sadler-Hamilton car to the next race at Iowa. Richard's got it covered. I'd just be in the way interfering with those guys taking care of business and without me there, the guys can concentrate 100 percent on Richard and the No. 59 car. I just want Richard to be comfortable and get full advantage of everything we can give him at Iowa."

Johns impressed more than just Hamilton, Jr. at Greenville recovering from a spin not of his own making early in the race and driving his way through the field into the Top 5 with less than 40 laps remaining in the event. Unfortunately, a set of worn out tires dropped the former NASCAR Nationwide driver to 13th in the final running order, but the effort provided the kind of initial impression his Sadler-Hamilton Racing team was looking for in their first-ever NASCAR Camping World effort.

"Richard Johns really showed me something tonight," said Sadler-Hamilton crew chief Danny Gill after the Greenville race. "If he hadn't gotten in an early accident, I feel like he would have easily had a Top-5 finish. He definitely had one of the best cars on the track all night long. I was very, very impressed with Richard and how he drove through the field tonight and not even put a scratch on the car. Nobody had anything for him tonight."

"I wasn't surprised that Richard ran as well as he did at Greenville," added Hamilton, Jr. "I knew he was a solid short track racer. If I was surprised by anything, this is a new deal for us and I wasn't sure how things would go at Greenville. After I retired from the race, I could really see what was going on with Richard and I knew we had something special. For Richard to have a problem and then come blistering back through the pack all the way up to fourth position at one point was pretty exciting to watch. After the race, the guys were really excited about their team and the effort. Everything was productive and frankly, way, way better than I thought it would be."

Hamilton, Jr., who became a partner in Sadler Racing prior to the start of the 2008 season, is hopeful the solid effort by Johns and the team will continue when the division next competes at Iowa. While he's confident the team is capable of competing over the short term, the veteran NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup driver knows funding will be the key to the team's chances of being in the thick of the NASCAR Camping World championship chase.

"Sponsorship is important to every team," said Hamilton, Jr. "NASCAR isn't a sport where you can afford to pay for everything yourself. You need to have solid funding to grow your race team into a championship organization. That's what we're looking to do at Sadler-Hamilton Racing. We have everything else in place -- the driver, crew chief and team. We just need the funding to take it to championship level.

"The NASCAR Camping World Series is a great place for a company to launch a motorsports marketing program," Hamilton, Jr. continued. "You have to have a whole lot of money to get involved in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series, but the Camping World Series is so much more affordable and place where companies can get a big bang for their buck. It's NASCAR's fourth-highest series and gets all kinds of exposure in the media through television, print and the Internet. Teams like Richard Childress Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing are involved in the series because they know how good it is. It's a great division where a company can take advantage of being associated with NASCAR and a great team like Sadler-Hamilton Racing, an organization with 25 years of success and tradition behind it for a fraction of the cost it takes to be in other NASCAR divisions. That's why we're here and we're hoping to attract a company to be a marketing partner and grow with us."

-credit: Sadler-Hamilton Racing

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Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Richard Johns
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing