Hamilton comes through on 96th try

Hamilton comes through on 96th try

From news services

Hamilton comes through on 96th try

After 95 winless starts in the NASCAR Busch series, Bobby Hamilton Jr. found the winning groove.

Powering through the pack in the final 60 laps, Hamilton won the Busch 200 at the New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday for his first victory.

Hamilton, whose Ford is sponsored by the Marine Corps, jumped out of his car and waved the Marine flag before doing a quick spin at the finish line.

Todd Bodine, who started third and was in contention most of the way, finished second. Jack Sprague was third, and rookie polesitter Shane Hmiel was fourth, his best finish.

Hamilton appeared to have his first victory in last week’s Hardee’s 250 at Richmond, Va.. But, leading with 11 laps left, he ran out of gas and finished 25th. “Last week wasn’t our week; today was our day,” he said.

This time, Hamilton, whose previous best finish was third last month at Nashville, came from behind to win.

Hamilton was leading when he went in for a pit stop, but he had to return to the pit moments later to have a track bar adjusted. He came out for the 140th lap in 15th place.

Using the new 12-foot groove on the turns that was put in for this race to create more passing opportunities, Hamilton began his push through the field.

By the 153rd lap, he was 11th. Three laps later he was ninth. By the 163rd lap, he moved up to seventh.

“Before I knew it, I was fifth and there was the leader,” he said.

He passed Bodine on turn 3 of the 186th lap, and passed Hmiel at nearly the same spot one lap later.

Hamilton cruised home, winning by 2.4 seconds. His average speed over the 1.058-mile track was 110.340 mph. Austrian Grand Prix

Rubens Barrichello won the pole position for today’s Austrian Grand Prix, and Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher had his worst qualifying of the season, settling for third.

Barrichello turned a lap of 1 minute, 8.082 seconds on the 2.688- mile circuit in Spielberg, Austria to win his second pole of the year.

Ralf Schumacher, the younger brother of Michael, qualified second at 1:08.364 in his BMW-Williams.

Four-time world champion and points leader Michael Schumacher will start from the second row after a time of 1:08.704. Schumacher, who has had three poles and two seconds in qualifying, has won four of five races this season.

Schumacher, who leads the drivers’ standings by 21 points over JuanPablo Montoya (44-23), has never won on the Austriancircuit.

Montoya, using the spare BMW-Williams, was fourth in 1:09.118.

Copyright Copley Press Inc. 2002

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