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Bobby Hamilton - R.I.P.


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#1 HistoricMustang

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:12

NASCAR's Bobby Hamilton dies of cancer
TERESA M. WALKER
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Bobby Hamilton, the longtime NASCAR driver who won the 2001 Talladega 500 and was the 2004 Craftsman Truck Series champion, died Sunday of cancer, said Liz Allison, a family friend who co-hosted a radio show with Hamilton. He was 49.

Hamilton was at home with his family when he died, said Allison, the widow of former NASCAR star Davey Allison.

Hamilton was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in February. A malignant growth was found when swelling from dental surgery did not go down.

He raced in the season's first three events, with a best finish of 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, before turning over the wheel to his son, Bobby Hamilton Jr. The senior Hamilton then started chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

By August, he had returned to work at Bobby Hamilton Racing in Mount Juliet, about 20 miles east of Nashville, and doctors indicated his CAT scans looked good. But microscopic cancer cells remained on the right side of his neck.

"Cancer is an ongoing battle, and once you are diagnosed you always live with the thought of the disease in your body," Hamilton said in an article posted on NASCAR's Web site last month. "It is the worst thing you could ever imagine."

Hamilton, born in Nashville in 1957, drove in all of NASCAR's top three divisions, making 371 starts and winning four times in what is now the Nextel Cup series. He won 10 truck races and one Busch Series race.

"I love what I do; I love this business," he said in March 2006 when he disclosed that he had cancer. "NASCAR has been good to me, and I just don't feel comfortable when I am not around it."

Hamilton's Nextel Cup wins, in addition to Talladega, came at Phoenix, Rockingham and Martinsville. His best season was in 1996 when he finished ninth in the points standings. He won his first Cup race that year, at Phoenix.

Hamilton drove in the top-level NASCAR series from 1989-05, earning $14.3 million and racing to 20 top-five finishes.

He became a full-time driver-owner in the truck series in 2003.

Another NASCAR favorite, 1973 Winston Cup champion Benny Parsons, was diagnosed with cancer in his left lung in July. He was checked into intensive care last week at a North Carolina hospital.

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#2 Tom Thomas

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 03:47

Bobby was a very nice man and a great competitor. We'll all miss him. Thanks for the memories Bobby, RIP.

#3 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:07

:( Thanks for telling.

#4 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:01

Oh, what a great shame. RIP. :cry:

#5 David M. Kane

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 16:19

Amongst the many great things he did I'll remember him for giving Bill Lester a chance in NASCAR.
That took a lot of courage.

#6 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 16:29

I thought that was Dodge's bidding, and more for diversity than Lester deserving an opportunity.

#7 David M. Kane

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 18:37

Ross you may be right about Dodge; but Bobby's name was on the entry sheet AND that's worth a lot in the South. Either I'm missing your point or you're missing mine. It still took courage on his part; or you never grew up in the South and felt or saw the sting of prejudice...

#8 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 19:02

I went there once, that was enough for me. I dunno, I think NASCAR has changed now. Or at least they're covering up the dissenting fans now. Everything is about niche and diversity now.

#9 David M. Kane

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 20:13

Ross I would add politically correct to your spot on observation. Funny how a lot of money makes that happen.

#10 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 23:45

Sorry to see Bobby go, especially so soon...

Jack

#11 Bruce R Moxon

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:14

Dang.

And BP as well? Too much more and this will be a very bad year indeed.



Bruce Moxon