Bobby Hamilton Richmond II preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Sept. 5, 2001) - The No. 55 Square D Chevrolet will have a different look this weekend in the Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway thanks to some help from Warner Brothers cartoon character Marvin the Martian and ...

Bobby Hamilton Richmond II preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Sept. 5, 2001) - The No. 55 Square D Chevrolet will have a different look this weekend in the Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway thanks to some help from Warner Brothers cartoon character Marvin the Martian and his dog K-9.

Square D driver Bobby Hamilton met with Marvin and K-9 recently and asked for some advice on how to add to his eight top-10 finishes at the .75-mile oval in the final night race of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season.

Marvin's advice was simple: "If the competition is in your way, there's only one thing to do - disintegrate them."

In Warner Brothers cartoons, the angry green Martian eliminates any unwanted opponents by blasting them with his X-T-40 disintegrating gun, especially to protect his territory from rival Bugs Bunny. At Richmond, Bugs will team with Jeff Gordon's Chevy and will battle it out with Marvin and K-9 and other Looney Tunes characters displayed on various Chevrolets running in the Monte Carlo 400 in a Warner Brothers/Chevrolet promotion.

Since Hamilton doesn't have any laser guns to eliminate his opponents, he will depend on his own driving skills and crew chief Jimmy Elledge's setups to blow away the competition.

Elledge and the Square D Racing Team have built a brand-new car for Richmond, one of 18 cars now in their fleet.

"This car is similar to what we raced in Loudon (N.H.)," Elledge said. "It's a lighter version Chevy that was intended for Darlington (S.C.), but got held up in production. So we geared it toward this week. We've built so many new cars this year and we're now adding the 19th and 20th to our fleet. All of our efforts are geared toward turning this program around."

Meanwhile, Andy Petree Racing is looking to improve its engine department with a "laser gun" of its own.

"This weekend, we're using a race engine that is as good as our qualifying engines from the first half of the year. And we now have the best qualifying motors we've had so far," Elledge said, praising the APR engine department. "The gap is closing up between our race and qualifying engine programs. Since we've made a recent change in personnel in our motor department, the engines have come a long, long way."

Elledge concluded with some advice for Marvin. "He better hold on to the side of the car because the motors will blow the doors this weekend."

The 400-lap Monte Carlo 400 will air live on TBS Sat., Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. EDT.

-SDR

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