Advertisement

Archive for Monday, April 23, 2001

Hamilton first at Talladega

Driver averages 184 mph in caution-free 500

April 23, 2001

Advertisement

— The race was there to win. All Bobby Hamilton needed was a little push.

"I couldn't believe it," Hamilton said Sunday after shooting out of a massive pack two laps from the end to win the caution-free Talladega 500. "I was running maybe fifth or sixth on the outside and I could hold on by myself. To win it, though, I needed some help."

It came in the form of Andy Petree Racing teammate Joe Nemechek, who suddenly popped up behind Hamilton's No. 55 Chevrolet and gave him a big push past Tony Stewart.

Just like last October's race at Talladega Superspeedway and the disastrous Daytona 500 in February which included a terrifying 19-car crash and another accident in which NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt was killed this race featured nearly constant two- and three-wide racing by most of the 43-car field.

Nobody was able to dominate, although Sterling Marlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Stewart did take turns leading the race for extended periods.

In the end, though, it was Hamilton at the front of a long line of cars on the high side of the 2.66-mile oval, that chased down Stewart's Pontiac two laps from the end of the 188-lap event.

"I got lucky that Joe was behind me," said Hamilton, whose last victory came in Martinsville, Va., in April 1998. "I'm not sure we could have won the race without him back there."

Hamilton averaged 184.003 mph.




1. (14) Bobby Hamilton, Chevrolet, 188 laps, 184.003 mph, $173,855.

2. (7) Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 188, $137,630.

3. (27) Kurt Busch, Ford, 188, $107,780.

4. (5) Mark Martin, Ford, 188, $126,126.

5. (30) Bobby Labonte, Pontiac, 188, $128,842.

6. (10) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 188, $96,125.

7. (37) Johnny Benson, Pontiac, 188, $70,955.

8. (19) Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, 188, $90,178.

9. (43) Mike Wallace, Ford, 188, $76,165.

10. (22) Jeff Burton, Ford, 188, $103,851.

11. (31) Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 188, $89,130.

12. (9) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 188, $96,197.

13. (26) Rusty Wallace, Ford, 188, $94,630.

14. (32) Ricky Rudd, Ford, 188, $83,407.

15. (4) Ricky Craven, Ford, 188, $51,680.

16. (29) Buckshot Jones, Dodge, 188, $67,760.

17. (16) Dave Blaney, Dodge, 188, $51,125.

18. (6) Dale Jarrett, Ford, 188, $92,012.

19. (40) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 188, $58,395.

20. (25) Jason Leffler, Dodge, 188, $68,496.

21. (24) Andy Houston, Ford, 188, $46,095.

22. (42) Ron Hornaday Jr, Pontiac, 188, $49,375.

23. (2) Sterling Marlin, Dodge, 188, $72,155.

24. (28) Robert Pressley, Ford, 188, $59,810.

25. (11) Jerry Nadeau, Chevrolet, 188, $56,830.

26. (23) Brett Bodine, Ford, 188, $48,650.

27. (13) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 188, $91,322.

28. (8) Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 188, $54,740.

29. (12) Mike Skinner, Chevrolet, 188, $79,909.

30. (21) Casey Atwood, Dodge, 187, $44,930.

31. (17) Steve Park, Chevrolet, 187, $73,518.

32. (3) Bill Elliott, Dodge, 187, $71,543.

33. (39) Ward Burton, Dodge, 187, $77,125.

34. (33) Jeff Purvis, Ford, 187, $43,860.

35. (41) Jeremy Mayfield, Ford, 187, $83,014.

36. (34) Jimmy Spencer, Ford, 187, $51,600.

37. (35) John Andretti, Dodge, 187, $78,467.

38. (15) Dave Marcis, Chevrolet, 186, $43,100.

39. (38) Elliott Sadler, Ford, 186, $60,910.

40. (36) Ken Schrader, Pontiac, 186, $50,660.

41. (20) Todd Bodine, Ford, 181, engine failure, $42,460.

42. (18) Kevin Lepage, Chevrolet, 158, overheating, $42,260.

43. (1) Stacy Compton, Dodge, 116, engine failure, $47,068.

Time of Race: 2 hours, 43 minutes, 4 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.163 seconds.

Caution Flags: None.

Lead Changes: 37 among 26 drivers.

Lap Leaders: S.Compton 1-2; S.Marlin 3-32; J.Nadeau 33; M.Skinner 34-41; J.Gordon 42-47; K.Schrader 48-49; M.Kenseth 50; E.Sadler 51-53; B.Elliott 54-55; J.Gordon 56-58; R.Hornaday Jr 59-60; W.Burton 61; A.Houston 62; W.Burton 63-65; J.Gordon 66-68; J.Nemechek 69-76; T.Bodine 77; K.Busch 78; B.Hamilton 79; K.Busch 80; M.Kenseth 81-90; M.Waltrip 91; S.Marlin 92-95; D.Earnhardt Jr 96-99; R.Craven 100; M.Martin 101; R.Wallace 102-104; D.Earnhardt Jr 105-133; S.Marlin 134-145; M.Martin 146-149; R.Rudd 150-151; R.Pressley 152; B.Labonte 153; T.Stewart 154; J.Burton 155-156; S.Marlin 157-161; T.Stewart 162-186; B.Hamilton 187-188.

Driver standings: D.Jarrett, 1,345; J.Gordon, 1,200; J.Benson, 1,195; B.Hamilton, 1,175; S.Marlin, 1,153; R.Wallace, 1,137; S.Park, 1,109; R.Rudd, 1,096; T.Stewart, 1,047; B.Elliott, 1,015.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.