Hamilton Pushes Speeds Even Higher At AMS Test
Tuesday, October 5, 2004
Bobby Hamilton Jr. pushed his No. 32 Tide Chevrolet over the 189-mph mark Tuesday as he continued testing for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Also testing Tuesday were NASCAR Craftsman Truck series drivers Matt Crafton, Dennis Setzer, David Starr and Jack Sprague.
Hamilton topped the day¿s unofficial speed chart with a lap of 29.27 seconds (189.409 mph). Having worked Monday on race setups, Hamilton Jr. and his team used Tuesday to work on aerodynamics.
¿The car feels good ¿ real good,¿ Hamilton said, ¿This is the car we¿re taking to Charlotte and here, and we feel confident. As it gets hotter and hotter, the car responds more, which makes for a better race car.¿
The General Motors truck teams testing alongside Hamilton Jr. had a much different focus in mind: next season. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck series will make two visits to Atlanta Motor Speedway next year, during both the March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 and the Oct. 28-30 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend.
¿It feels real good to have a few days of GM testing,¿ Starr said, ¿We¿re learning stuff for the rest of the year, and this test also gives us a great head start for next year.¿
However, as the morning progressed, the truck teams struggled with Atlanta Motor Speedway¿s turn two.
¿We¿re fighting a tight condition off turn two,¿ Starr said, ¿Pretty much everybody is fighting it today, and we¿re not sure if it¿s the truck or the track, but we¿re trying to work through it right now.¿
Those difficulties were evident from his lap times. Starr was the slowest of the day, circling the 1.54-mile track in 31.71 seconds (174.834 mph). Setzer was quickest among the trucks with a lap of 31.18 seconds (177.806 mph), followed by Sprague¿s 31.42 seconds (176.448 mph) and Crafton¿s 31.64 seconds (175.221 mph).
NASCAR testing will continue with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers, and throughout the next two weeks, as drivers prepare for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Ryan Newman will join the Ford fleet of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers to test next Monday, Oct. 11, while Dawsonville¿s Bill Elliott will be on hand to test Tuesday, Oct. 12 and Wednesday, Oct. 13.
All test sessions are closed to public; but check the Atlanta Motor Speedway website at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com for more information and daily testing updates.