RandyW Posted January 8, 2007 Share Posted January 8, 2007 Hamilton Sr loses cancer fight Racing series OBITUARIES NASCAR Date 2007-01-07 By Nancy Knapp Schilke - Motorsport.com Bobby Hamilton, Sr. never gave up as he battled neck cancer, the gentleman racer's final battle in life came to a close on Sunday, January 7, 2007 at the age of 49. His career in stock car racing had its ups and downs but his passion, determination and hard work saw his career which started in 1975 in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. When the cancer was discovered in February last year, Hamilton stepped down as a driver on March 19th. "It's called head-and-neck cancer. I don't have anything wrong with my head, but [Ken] Schrader said a lot of people would doubt that," he said on that fateful day. After his final race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Atlanta (March '06), he handed the keys of his Bobby Hamilton Racing No. 18 Dodge Tundra over to his son Bobby Hamilton, Jr. Instead of racing, Hamilton decided to promote cancer awareness as he underwent treatment. "I want to use what little bit of celebrity status I have left and try to promote the awareness of this disease," Hamilton said prior to his final race. "Out of respect for everyone I race against, I didn't think it was fair for my competitors to even think there was a problem." During the past year, Hamilton has been upfront about his cancer, the fight it entailed from himself and his family. He did promote cancer awareness as one of the leaders working with the Craftsman For a Cure charity fundraiser in August of 2006. The total raised was over $66 thousand which benefited the American Cancer Society and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Hamilton's NASCAR career included all three top series: Cup, Busch and Truck. He earned the 1991 Cup Rookie of the Year title and he notched four Cup wins, including the Talladega 500 in 2001. In the Busch Series, he had solo victory came Richmond in 1989. In 1996, Hamilton ran his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race after forming his own team commonly known as BHR. The early years, Hamilton ran selected races with his first win at Martinsville in 2000. The next year, as the series started to take hold in both motor sports and the market place, Hamilton landed win number two at Darlington. In 2003, Hamilton took on the full season in NCTS, he ended the season sixth in the standings with one pole, two wins and ten top-fives. His championship season was a true fight in 2004 between himself, Dennis Setzer and Ted Musgrave. In mid-season, Hamilton built the edge he needed but with four races to go, he slipped to second and made the comeback to take the coveted title -- his first NASCAR championship! "Obviously I'm pretty proud of all my people," expressed Hamilton about his team on the day they landed the championship. "The emotion is a happy emotion. It just hasn't sunk in for me. I mean, I know I won the championship." The next year, Hamilton led the way from the first race, again in the title fight with Musgrave and Setzer. In the final third, Hamilton slipped and ended his final full season sixth in the points with one pole and two wins. His family was reported by NASCAR to have been with him at the time of his death. The racing world will be saying their farewells to a champion, not just on the track but in his personal life also. 0.023 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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