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This Week in Ford NNS Racing: Bobby Hamilton Jr.

Bobby Hamilton Jr
Bobby Hamilton Jr
 
June 3, 2008 - Bobby Hamilton Jr., driver of the No. 25 Smithfield Foods Ford Fusion, returns to his home track this weekend when the NASCAR Nationwide Series visits Nashville. Hamilton Jr. finished in 10th place there earlier this year, and is eager to return and improve on that finish. He currently is 14th in the points standings.

BOBBY HAMILTON JR. – No. 25 Smithfield Foods Ford Fusion – THIS WEEKEND IS YOUR HOME TRACK OF NASHVILLE. “Yeah. Anytime you’re at home, no matter where you wind up, it’s easy. It makes it easy for the family in traveling, and for you staying in your bed. You’re surrounded by your family and friends when normally you’re not. It’s an easy weekend. Then the following week we’re in Kentucky, which is less than two hours from my house. I love these two races here.”

DO YOU LIKE NASHVILLE AND KENTUCKY BECAUSE THEY ARE CLOSE TO HOME OR DO YOU LIKE TO RACE THERE? “Both race tracks are really good. They’ve got a ton of grip. Goodyear has the perfect match with the track and the tire. It just makes the racing good. All the drivers love those two race tracks. They’re easy to drive, you can get really aggressive on the throttle. The steering and stuff really send the race car around – every reason that you like driving the race car is there. You’re at home, the cars drive good and they’re fun to drive.”

AT THE END OF THE NASHVILLE RACE EARLIER THIS YEAR YOU MENTIONED THE TEAM FOUND SOMETHING THAT WORKED. ARE YOU EAGER TO HEAD BACK AND SEE IF IT WORKS? “Yeah, and it has worked a little bit. But it’s like everything else, everybody will catch up to what you’re on. If you are on to something, chances are they’re already ahead of you. The minute you get on something, whether it’s a half a tenth or the car drives good or whatever, as long as it carries momentum to your guys and it works. We know where we need to start the race now. We know where we need to be at the start of the race. Every year you just get smarter and smarter with your notes and you’ve got more to rely on.”

WILL THE RACING BE REALLY DIFFERENT BECAUSE THE WEATHER WAS MUCH COOLER EARLIER IN THE SEASON? “No, not really. That’s one good thing about that race track. It has a grip whether the sun is shining or dark. It’s pretty predictable. You know what to expect and what the car is going to do. It’s one of those race tracks you just like to be at because it has grip, the car is predictable and it just makes it easier on everybody.”

ON THE SEASON. “I’d say we’re about a C. But getting down to it, we’re 60 points ahead of where we were last year at this time. We’re a couple of spots off, but we missed Mexico. It’s almost too early in the season to figure out where you’re going to be. By the next Dover race, you know where you can be, you know where you gonna be, you know who you can catch or who you can’t catch, who can catch you, who cannot catch you. By that time, you’re all looking at points. The wins are virtually impossible with the way the stuff is now. It’s hard to tell right now. I think right now it’s a C, but I’m one of those people who looks at the worst-case scenario. Overall, the car is driving good. The motors, we’ve got to pick-up there. They’re off right now. I know we are. I know the 60 car [Carl Edwards] hasn’t even won a race yet. The 17 [driven by Matt Kenseth] only won because a lot of the Toyotas fell out. I’d say about a heavy C to a B-minus.”

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET YOU UP TO AN ‘A’? “We need to make some changes here and there. Ronnie Russell and Chris Wright, they know where we need to be. They know the changes we need to make.”

SINCE IT’S TOO EARLY TO SAY HOW YOU THINK THE SEASON WILL WORK OUT AND NASHVILLE IS THIRD IN A 16-RACE STRETCH, WILL MOMENTUM COME INTO PLAY? “Yeah, it will help, but at the same time, I believe your guys work really hard for you every week like they do and the driver does and everybody puts 100 percent, they know what they’re doing. And they’re going to keep digging. I think the momentum thing is just kind of something to hype everybody up and this and that. But I think that when the guys know they’re doing all that they can do and the driver is doing all that he can do, then it’s just a matter of time for something good happens. That’s just what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to put together a race today, you’ve got to put together a race next week and that’s how you get those points, that’s how you get those good finishes. It’s a ball, once you get it going. I hate to sit there and say that we lost momentum is why we did this. I won’t sit there and say we had a bad week and we’ll get back after it next week. When we were hired, we knew what we needed to do. It’s what we do every week or try to.”


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