Hometown hero Hamilton hoping to add electric guitar to trophy collection

Updated: June 3, 2008

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Defending Federated Auto Parts 300 winner Carl Edwards has what Bobby Hamilton Jr. wants.

In the past, Bobby Hamilton Jr. has stressed how much it would mean if he could win a Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. The Tennessee native's home track -- and its unique guitar trophy -- would top of his list of accomplishments, but he's yet to seal the deal.

His next chance comes Saturday night in the Federated Auto Parts 300, but based on his season so far, victory might elude the Team Rensi Motorsports driver yet again. Perhaps that's why he's downplaying the importance of racing at home this time around.

Bobby Hamilton Jr.

Hamilton

Asked if he has special plans, Hamilton said it's just another working weekend. This one may actually include more work than usual.

"No, just be there at the last minute. I've got to be there at 5 or 6 Friday night and [I'll] get there about 4:30, compared to what you do now [getting to an out-of-town race much earlier]," Hamilton said at Dover. "Then [I'll] make a little bit of money driving a race car and get to sleep in [my own] bed. So, how bad is it?

"[It's] just another weekend at home to actually work a little bit more. You don't have to go out of town. I'm in the middle of building a new fence for all the dogs, so I'll have to do that more often, the whole time while I'm home. [It's] nothing special, it's just another weekend, too. You look at it as far as being at home, but at the same time, when you get to the racetrack, you don't have no advantages over those guys. You just know where the bathroom is compared to some of them, but that's about it."

Hamilton might be more excited about the race if he were better than 14th in points. Of course, he'd likely be a spot or two higher in the standings had he started at Mexico City, but Boris Said drove the No. 25 in that event because Hamilton was sidelined because of a lack of sponsorship. In 13 starts this year, Hamilton has one top-5 and two top-10s.

Hamilton does have six top-10s in 10 starts at Nashville, though. Maybe he'll sing a happier tune about his weekend at home come Saturday night.

Mark Ashenfelter is an associate editor at ESPN. He can be reached at mark.ashenfelter@espn.com.

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Coleman Enjoys Cup Test

Brad Coleman

Coleman

This Nationwide Series hasn't been what Brad Coleman was hoping for thus far, but getting a chance to test a Sprint Cup car for Hall of Fame Racing at Pocono a week ago left a smile on the 18-year-old's face.

Coleman signed with the team as a test driver last year with the long-term goal of running some Cup races with the team if everything were to fall into place. The pieces haven't come together just yet, but the Pocono test was a start.

"The Cup test was a lot of fun. It was my first time in the COT at Pocono and the first time to ever be at Pocono," Coleman said. "Basically our goal was to get used to the car, take it easy, and that's exactly what we did. It was a lot of fun going out there and driving one of those for the first time.

"That rear wing on the back, I like it a lot because you can get that thing pretty sideways and it's gonna save it. It was just a really fun car to drive for me. We didn't tape up and do a qualifying run like everyone else at the end even though I really wanted to. I think it was a good decision not to."

Rather low-key by nature, Coleman already sounded like a veteran at Dover while waiting out a three-hour rain delay before the start of the Nationwide Series race. He joked that he's had plenty of practice.

"After the beginning of this year, I've really gotten used to it. For the first six races, half of them were rain-delayed or four of them were rain-delayed and we didn't [get a chance to] qualify for most of them," Coleman said of races in which the field was set by owners' points. "I just really got used to sitting around and watching it rain.

"All you can do really is sit there and watch the TV coverage and watch ESPN and see what's going on. It's something you have to deal with as a driver. There are drivers that do get excited, but me, I don't find myself getting too overly anxious when a race is about to start. So, it doesn't throw me off too much."

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