Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, June 15, 2003

Hamilton rallies to win Meijer 300

June 15, 2003

Advertisement

— Bobby Hamilton Jr. overcame a pit-stop miscue to win the NASCAR Busch series race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Hamilton passed Jason Keller with three laps to go in the Meijer 300. It was Hamilton's third straight top-six finish, but his first win of the season and second of his career.

He led most of the way until the first caution of the race, which came after Randy LaJoie's transmission broke on lap 86. Hamilton pitted during the caution, and a NASCAR official ruled that his crew failed to sufficiently tighten the lugnuts on the front left tire of his Ford.

Hamilton returned to pit row to remedy the situation and dropped to 13th. He worked his way back to second, dropped back to fourth and then picked off three drivers in front of him.

"If you were listening to my radio chatter, it was like, 'Don't worry,'" Hamilton said.

Keller took the lead from Ron Hornaday Jr. with 26 laps left, and Hamilton passed Hornaday two laps later. Three laps from the end, Hamilton ducked underneath Keller's Ford to pass and pulled away.

"He was better than we were late in the race," Keller said. "I'm disappointed we didn't win the race, but I can sleep tonight because I raced my heart out."

Scott Riggs, a two-time winner this season on the Busch circuit, missed a chance to win for the second straight week. He was leading on lap 165 when he was part of a six-car accident.

Riggs' crash gave the series points lead to eighth-place finisher David Green. Riggs wound up 30th.

Hornaday finished third in Chevrolet, followed by the Chevys of Stacy Compton and Scott Wimmer.

Bobby Hamilton Jr. passes through Turn Four on his way to victory.
Hamilton won the Busch Series Meijer 300 Saturday at Kentucky
Speedway in Sparta, Ky.

Bobby Hamilton Jr. passes through Turn Four on his way to victory. Hamilton won the Busch Series Meijer 300 Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.