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NASCAR: Hamilton Grabs Top Spot as GM Teams Continue Test at Daytona

14 January 1998

Bobby Hamilton
Bobby Hamilton
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Bobby Hamilton, driver of the No. 4 Kodak Film Chevrolet, posted the fastest time as General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup teams continued their final pre-season test Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the all-new Bud Shootout At Daytona (Feb. 8) and the "Great American Race," the 40th Annual Daytona 500 (Feb. 15).

Hamilton was clocked at 47.621 seconds, an average speed of 188.992 mph, in one of two Morgan-McClure Chevrolet Monte Carlos that he drove on the day.

Ricky Craven of Newburgh, Maine, who turned in the ninth fastest time of the day in his Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo, is looking forward to his fourth Daytona 500.

"The car is running good," said Craven. "The encouraging thing is we have two cars that are running good right off the bat. I've been on the flip side, I have come down to Daytona and we've worked hard for three days and not seen any results.

"Last year in the Daytona 500, we started so far back that we gave ourselves too much of a deficit to come back from. We're a young team somewhat unfamiliar with each other, if we accelerate that comfort level within the team, I think we can be a threat to win the Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 is my favorite race, its the most exciting race of the year. It's the one race that I single out from the rest. I remember my rookie year running in the top 10 and thinking this is what I've worked all my life for. And to come back last year and finish third and being in a position to challenge to win the Daytona 500, that's a dream come true."

The test continues Wednesday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand is open daily at no charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction." Guided tours of the Speedway are also available from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a nominal fee.


NO   DRIVER/CAR                         SPEED   NO     DRIVER/CAR
 4   Bobby Hamilton/Chevrolet           188.992 41     Steve
Grissom/Chevrolet  187.087
33   Ken Schrader/Chevrolet             188.945  8     Hut
Stricklin/Chevrolet  187.013
 3   Dale Earnhardt/Chevrolet           188.861 22     Ward Burton/Pontiac
43   John Andretti/Pontiac              188.505 29     Jeff
Green/Chevrolet     186.768
30   Derrike Cope/Pontiac               188.482  1     Steve
Park/Chevrolet     186.243
36   Ernie Irvan/Pontiac                188.470 46     Wally
24   Jeff Gordon/Chevrolet              188.419 44     Kyle Petty/Pontiac
40   Sterling Marlin/Chevrolet          188.186 71     Dave
Marcis/Chevrolet    185.151
50   Ricky Craven/Chevrolet             188.068 07     Dan
Pardus/Chevrolet     184.957
17   Darrell Waltrip/Chevrolet          187.915 35     Todd Bodine/Pontiac
42   Joe Nemechek/Chevrolet             187.719 73     Phil
Barkdohl/Chevrolet  184.562
96   David Green/Chevrolet              187.555 91     Kevin
LePage/Chevrolet   183.910

* Electronic times taken throughout the day's practice sessions. 
Editors Note: The images displayed in this article (plus many more) can be viewed in The Racing Image Galleries from The Callahan Racing Page.