Hamilton, Jr. finishes eighth in Rockingham
By Story by Team Rensi Motorsports
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | February 21, 2004
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. --
The only things missing from Bobby Hamilton, Jr.’s run through an obstacle course on Saturday were the jump over water and the rope climb.
The rest of the traditional obstacle course features managed to find their way into Hamilton, Jr.’s 200-mile run in the Goody’s Headache Powders 200. Despite collisions with cars, run ins with the wall, tire problems and a jammed air wrench on a pit stop, the White House, Tenn., resident managed an eighth place finish in the second NASCAR Busch Series race of the season.
After practice and qualifying on Friday, many in the garage considered Hamilton, Jr. the driver to beat on Saturday. Hamilton, Jr. qualified in the eighth position and finished happy hour as the fastest car.
Early on in Saturday’s race it appeared as if Hamilton, Jr. would be able to walk away with the win. He quickly raced from eighth into the top-five before the first round of pit stops occurred on lap 55. A jammed air wrench delayed the pit stop and sent Hamilton, Jr. to the 22nd position in the running order.
Hamilton, Jr. and The Team Marines Racing Team never give up and Saturday was no different. The team refocused and Hamilton, Jr. began to work his way to the front of the field once again. With a fast race car and the determination of one of the toughest drivers in the Busch Series, the chance for victory was still within reach.
Ten laps later, Hamilton, Jr. had raced to the 17th position. By lap 85, Hamilton, Jr. had worked his way back into 10th position.
A lap 165 crash involving Aaron Fike came within inches of collecting the Team Marines Ford. In moving to escape the car, Hamilton, Jr. scraped the outside wall, knocking the steering on the Team Marines Ford off enough to hinder the driving of the machine for the remainder of the event.
Despite the trouble, Hamilton, Jr. fought his hardest to earn the eighth place finish over the final ten laps.
“We didn’t get the victory we were after, but it’s hard to be real upset with a top-ten at a track this tough,” Hamilton, Jr. said. “We had some things happen today out of our control, but the Team Marines Ford kept charging and now we can head to Las Vegas, one of my favorite race tracks.”
Jamie McMurray won his fourth straight Busch Series race in Rockingham with a late race pass of Kevin Harvick. Martin Truex, Jr. and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top three finishers.
After a weekend off, the Busch Series will head to Las Vegas Speedway for the Sam’s Town 300 on March 6th. FX Network and Performance Racing Network will provide live coverage of the event at 4:00pm EDT.