Good Effort For Hamilton
August 9, 2002 | 12:00 A.M. EST
But Hamilton had one little slip-up in his qualifying lap around Watkins Glen’s 2.45-mile road course, so he had to settle for an 11th-place effort. Still, that’s not bad, and Hamilton has a good starting spot for Sunday’s Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen after his lap of 121.965 mph.
“I was going for the pole, but I got loose as I was coming out of the chicane,” Hamilton said. “I was watching the TV and I saw a lot of guys making up time out of the chicane going into Turn 5. I went in there pretty hot to try and build up some momentum. A lot of this track is a momentum thing but I lost about two-tenths of a second there. But we backed up what we did in practice, and I’m pretty happy about that.”
Hamilton made only one qualifying run during practice, and he was 13th quickest Friday morning. Crew chief Jimmy Elledge worked most of practice on race setups, but he made some changes to the qualifying setup, and they worked.
“The car was real tight at first in practice,” Hamilton said. “No matter when I turned to the left or the right, it just got worse and worse. But Jimmy made a bunch of adjustments, and that helped a whole lot.”
Ricky Rudd won the pole with a speed of 122.70 mph. Michael Waltrip took the second spot with Bill Elliott, Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman rounding out the Top 5.