Hamilton Jr. To Sub For Nemechek

When Andy Petree went looking for a substitute for the injured Joe Nemechek, he didn’t have to look outside the family.

Petree selected Bobby Hamilton Jr., the son of Petree’s other Winston Cup driver, to replace Nemechek in the No. 33 Chevrolet for the Winston Open at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Nemechek is recovering from a broken shoulder blade suffered in a testing crash at Dover on Tuesday.

Nemechek is expected back for the Coca-Cola 600 next weekend.

“We felt someone sitting in for Joe this weekend, especially since it’s not a points race, is just a smart thing to do,” Petree said. “We’re concerned about his health and having him ready to go next week more than anything else. Little Bobby has a little bit of Winston Cup experience, got that on a track that’s close to Charlotte and has done pretty well in the Busch races at places like Charlotte, Atlanta and Michigan. We think he’s a great fit with our guys.”

Hamilton Jr. drove the No. 01 car for Chip Ganassi Racing at Atlanta in the last race of 2000. He qualified 28th and finished six laps down in 31st.

Should Hamilton Jr. win the Winston Open or the No Bull Sprint, he’d advance to race against his father, who has already qualified for The Winston in Petree’s No. 55 Chevrolet.

“My dad is in The Winston and I’d love to run in that too. Who wouldn’t?” Hamilton, Jr. said. “What we’re going to try to do is everything we can to get up front in the Winston Open and the No Bull Sprint. Win one of those, and there we are.

“My main goal is to be competitive and to bring the car back. There isn’t anything to prove in one race and I know that. The track time is important to me, and taking care of the equipment is important to everybody. I’m not going to try to be a hero, just be real solid in what I am doing. If the opportunity does come up, well, I’ll do the best I can.”

Driving for Carroll Racing on the Busch Series, Hamilton Jr. has one top-five and three top-10 finishes this season. He’s 17th in the points standings.

“I hate to be getting in anybody’s car under these circumstances but I’m glad I can help Andy and the guys out,” Hamilton Jr. said. “I have seen what a strong team concept they have between the two cars, how closely they work together and how hard they pull for each other. Even though it’s only going to be one race, I’m glad to be a part of that.”

Hamilton Jr. will join Kenny Wallace and Kevin Harvick as drivers doing double duty this weekend. The three will also race in the Nazareth 200 Busch Series event at Nazareth Speedway on Sunday.

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