Team Marines Racing victorious in Kentucky
By Sgt. Jimmie Perkins
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | June 16, 2003
SPARTA, Ky. --
On Saturday night, Bobby Hamilton Jr. drove the No. 25 Team Marines Ford Taurus in dominating fashion, winning the Busch Series Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway.
The race was Hamilton's from the start. On lap one he passed the pole sitter and proceeded to lengthen his lead over the next 66 laps. Following a quick pit stop on lap 67, the team kept the lead until a caution on lap 87. During the ensuing pit stop under caution, Hamilton was ordered to return to the pits because a NASCAR official believed that the lug nuts securing his car's left front tire were not sufficiently tightened. This delay cost Hamilton 12 positions, but his faith in his team was still sound.
"Don't worry, we have the best car," Hamilton radioed to his team.
Methodically he made up the lost ground, working his way back to second place. He overcame the race leader, Jason Keller, with just four laps to go and drove his way to his second Busch Series victory, the first for this season.
"We had a chance to quit tonight when the trouble hit, but no one gave up and like true Marines we raced back for the win," said Hamilton. "The car was awesome from the drop of the green flag. I have never had a race car to drive like this one. To all those Marines out there, I told you we'd get one, now we're going to get some more."
This race week was successful for Team Marines Racing. On qualification day, Hamilton secured the second fastest qualifying time to start the race from row one.
The win moves Hamilton up to seventh position in the points race, just 162 points behind leader David Green. The team finished 8th in points last season, the best finish to date for Team Rensi Motorsports and Team Marines.
The partnership with Team Rensi Motorsports and the Marine Corps' involvement with NASCAR continues to be one of the Marine Corps' most visible and exciting marketing programs.
"There are similarities between NASCAR and the United States Marine Corps," explained Capt. Robert Geiger, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "Both include individuals looking for a challenge, working together as a team to reach an established goal, and giving your best every day to succeed in your chosen profession."