Sunday 7th January 2007
Bobby Hamilton (49), NASCAR driver, died of cancer. A driver and owner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit and the winner of the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (now Camping World Truck Series) championship, Hamilton owned Bobby Hamilton Racing. Hamilton’s son, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., was also a NASCAR driver. Hamilton may be best remembered for two of his Winston Cup wins. His first career victory at the 1996 Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix was the first win for the No. 43 Petty car since Richard Petty’s last win in 1984. He also had a memorable win at the Talladega 500 in April 2001 driving the No. 55 car for owner Andy Petree. The entire 500-mile race was run caution-free and was under intense scrutiny from both NASCAR and the media at large, being the first superspeedway race run since the death of Dale Earnhardt at the 2001 Daytona 500 two months earlier. A physically and mentally exhausted Hamilton slumped to the ground after exiting his car and was given oxygen from a tank before giving the standard post-race Victory Lane interview while sitting on the ground, leaning against the drivers door.